MINISTER of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu says same sex marriages have no place in Zambia and those trying to champion them using money are just wasting their time.
In an interview with the Daily mail yesterday, Mr Lungu said such rights have no place in Zambia and the PF government is not ready to recognise or accept them.
“This is unZambian; it is not part of our culture. I know some money-hungry civil society organisations will fall for the money but we are waiting to see which Zambian will get the money and start championing same sex marriages.
Let them take the fight for gay rights to Europe but even there they are struggling, the issue is still contentious,” Mr Lungu said.
He was reacting to the European Union (EU) delegation’s call to Zambia’s position that it supports the full range of human rights, including same sex marriages.
“Those who want to use money to champion the same sex marriages in Zambia are just wasting their time because the practice is unZambian. It is not in our culture and as Government we are not ready for that,” Mr Lungu said
He said during the run-up to the 2011 tripartite elections, people like MMD Petauke Central MP Dora Siliya were misinforming the public that the PF would recognise same sex marriages once voted into power but such people have been proven wrong.
Mr Lungu said he would issue a comprehensive statement after reading the full text of the EU’s call for proposals.
The EU has ‘dangled’ minimum grants of 100,000 euros and maximum of 200,000 euros to civil society organisations operating in Zambia that will meet its requirements to protect and promote human rights.
This is contained in the EU’s 2012-2013 guidelines for grant applicants under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) for the programme dubbed Country-Based Support Scheme (CBSS) – Supporting civil society to protect the rights of prisoners and of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.
According to the document, the EU strongly supports the entitlement by all individuals, without discrimination, to enjoy the full range of human rights.
“Prisoners, like all other people, are entitled to enjoy their human rights, but this is not always the case in many countries. This makes them rank among the most vulnerable groups of society, especially when these are women, children or juveniles. Gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be used as justifications for serious human rights violations around the world.
“Lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people constitute a vulnerable group and continue to fall victims of persecution, discrimination and gross ill-treatment, often involving extreme forms of violence. In several countries, sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex are considered a crime and punished with imprisonment or with death penalty. In Zambia, homosexuality is proscribed by the Penal Code and anyone found guilty is liable to imprisonment,” the EU says.
The EU adds that the specific objectives of its call for proposals include supporting civil society interventions in the area of support, promotion and protection of the rights of prisoners, with a specific focus on different categories of inmates like women, pregnant women, circumstantial children, children and juveniles.
The other objective is to support and strengthen the human rights defenders and civil society interventions, notably in the area of support and promotion of the rights of lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL