US, German support for two men accused of homosexuality disappoints Government

Government is disappointed at the conduct of some diplomats accredited to Zambia who went to Kapiri Mposhi to show solidarity for two men accused of practising homosexuality, Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary George Zulu says.

On Monday, United States charge d’affaires David Young, German ambassador to Zambia Bernd Finke and UNAIDS country co-ordinator Helen Frary went to Kapiri Mposhi to offer solidarity to Philip Mubiana, 22, and James Mwape, 21, who face up to 15 years in jail if convicted of sodomy.

This was the day the verdict was due to be delivered but the magistrate handling the case failed to turn up.

Mr Zulu said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that though diplomats are allowed to visit prisons or any part of the country, they were wrong to travel to Kabwe to give solidarity to the two men accused of practising homosexuality.

He said Government is disappointed at the conduct of the diplomats because supporting homosexuality is against the values of Zambia as a Christian nation.

Mr Zulu said giving solidarity to the two men accused of practising homosexuality is a clear indication that the diplomats want to influence the decision of the court.

“We are urging our diplomats accredited to this country to respect our laws, which are anchored on our Constitution.

“Zambia is a country of laws and we want the courts to be independent and not to be influenced by our diplomats.

“We feel by visiting and showing solidarity to these two men, the diplomats were not sensitive to our laws because they have already expressed their opinion on the matter,” he said.

Mr Zulu said all the diplomats serving in Zambia should observe the laws of the land as well as the diplomatic etiquettes which are anchored on diplomatic values and the Vienna Convention.

He appealed to the West to respect Zambia’s rights to live by these Christian values adding that Government will endeavour to protect the constitution by all means.

Mr Zulu said Government will not support proposals that are in contradiction to the laws and biblical teachings.

He said it is unfortunate that some rich nations are forcing African countries to accept homosexuality as a condition for receiving aid.

On Monday, judgement in the case involving Mubiana and Mwape, who have been accused of practising homosexuality, could not be delivered because the trial magistrate was indisposed.

The pair has been held since May 2013 on charges of having sex against the order of nature.

Source – Lusaka Times