|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
The church has vowed to campaign against Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata for advocating gay rights
Chief Government spokesperson Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha said what Mr Sata is advocating is an abomination and the church must rise against such leaders.
“Churches that believe in Jesus Christ should condemn Mr Sata’s statement because the bible condemns it as an abomination,” he said.
But the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) says there are no legal provisions in the Zambian laws which provide for gay rights.
Commenting on reports that Mr Sata supports gay rights, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director PukutaMwanza said the church will campaign against political parties and their leaders engaged in advocating unChristian activities such as homosexuality and abortion.
“We are disappointed with news that the PF is supporting same sex marriages. This is alien to Zambia’s traditional values. This is a Christian nation, so it is unthinkable that any leader can promote such things,” he said.
Rev Mwanza said the fact that homosexuality is being promoted and practised elsewhere does not mean it should be permitted in Zambia.
He said the church will ensure that gay rights are not enshrined in the republican Constitution.
And Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) overseer Bishop Peter Ndhlovu also said his church will go flat out to campaign against the PF and any other political party promoting gay rights.
Efforts to get a comment from Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) and Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) failed.
ZEC spokesperson Paul Samasumo referred the matter to the general secretary CleophasLungu who threw it back to Father Samasumo.
And CCZ secretary general Suzanne Matale said the church is not ready to respond.
“We will respond when there is something to respond to,” she said.
Meanwhile, some civil society organisations have released copies of CDs containing a clip of a recorded interview of Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata with some Danish officials in which he supported homosexuality.
Committee of Citizens executive director Gregory Chifire has challenged church mother bodies, and particularly the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), to state their positions on revelations that Mr Sata has promised to enhance gay rights in Zambia.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka on March 14, Mr Chifire said his organisation and the Forum for Leadership Search (FLS) have reproduced CDs they intend to circulate to the church, donors and members of the public.
According to a recorded interview which was played to journalists, Mr Sata stated that the laws of Zambia recognise gays and lesbians.
“The laws are there, all we need is to implement them,” Mr Sata states.
Mr Chifire described Mr Sata as a person who should not be given a chance to rule Zambia.
“This man is not worthy of anyone’s vote,” he said.
Mr Chifire challenged Mr Sata to tell the nation which part of the Constitution has provisions which promote homosexuality.
He said Zambia is a Christian nation and it is the duty of every leader to uphold Christian principles, values and cultures.
Mr Chifire said Mr Sata is embracing gay rights to get funding from certain western countries pushing for constitutional recognition of gay rights in African countries.
He said the latest casualty in this scheme is Kenya where some donors used key political elements to sneak gay rights into the constitution.
“We defeated these Western countries at the National Constitution Conference when they wanted to bring these rights through the back door and they will be defeated again by rejecting Mr Sata in the voting booth.
Voting for Mr Sata would mean endorsing gay rights in Zambia,” he said. “We would like to hear what the church, especially the Catholic Church where Mr Sata belongs, have to say about this since it does not support such alien things.
We want to know what disciplinary measures will be taken against Mr Sata for issuing these statements in support of homosexuality,” he said.
Mr Chifire said while admonishing Mr Sata, the clergy should give a categorical statement on the dangers of Zambia accepting gay rights which can destroy the moral fibre.
And FLS executive director Edwin Lifwekelo challenged Mr Sata to come out in the open and deny that the voice in the recording is not his.
Mr Lifwekelo also condemned Mr Sata’s support for homosexuality which is a shame for someone aspiring for the highest office in the land. He said the people of Zambia should not make a mistake of electing Mr Sata.
“We cannot have a comedian in State House. We need a focused person like President Banda who has performed beyond expectations in two years,” he said.
But Mr Sata said contrary to what is being said about his meeting with the Danish officials, he said there are adequate laws in the country to protect the Zambian people against illicit activities.
Meanwhile, CHARLES MUSONDA reports that the Islamic Supreme Council of Zambia (ISCZ) says it is unacceptable for anyone to embrace sin just for the sake of assuming power.
ISCZ president Suzyo Zimba said in an interview in Lusaka that both the Bible and the Koran do not give homosexuals rights in any society.
“God expects believers to live in a certain way and that is why he has given us laws so that we know what is good and what is bad. If God has not given homosexuals rights, who are we to embrace them? Sin is sin and you can’t embrace it just because you want power,” Mr Zimba said.