Zambia chiefs call for ‘caging’ of gays after couples try to marry

Traditional leaders in Zambia have called for a crackdown on gays after four couples sought to register their same-sex marriages with a registrar

Zambia chiefs call for ‘caging’ of gays after couples try to marry
07 April 2013

Tribal chiefs in Zambia have called for a crackdown on gays in the Southern African nation after four gay couples sought to have their marriages recognized by a state registrar – calling for them to ‘be caged.’

Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni and Chief Shakumbila of Mumbwa wrote to the Zambia Daily Mail to condemn LGBT people after it reported that four mixed national same-sex couples had sought to have their marriages recognized by a state registrar earlier this month.

‘It is not a culture of Zambians, Africans and Ngonis to practice homosexuality and gay people should be caged,’ Chief Madzimawe told the newspaper.

Chief Shakumbila told the paper that LGBT rights activists should cease their activities as Zambia was a Christian nation and thus had no room for gay rights.

Zambia’s Minister of Home Affairs, Edgar Lungu, told the paper that police should arrest the eight men who tried to register their marriages during the Easter weekend.

‘If the men are found to have committed any offense, action should be taken accordingly,’ Lungu said.

‘It is a pity that foreigners have started bringing this thing to us now. We are on dangerous ground where people are bringing new things to us and we are watching. The police must do their work … same-sex marriages are not a normal thing.’

Lusaka City Council (LCC) marriage registrar Henry Kapata refused the four couples when they approached him to recognize their marriages.

‘They were waiting on the queue and I didn’t know what they wanted until they entered my office,’ Kapata told the Daily Mail, ‘They were all men, dressed normally.’

‘I was shocked that such things can happen in Zambia. I told them that we don’t register gay marriages in Zambia. The Marriages Act … of the Laws of Zambia and even the Constitution is very clear about that.’

However non-governmental human rights group Dette Resources Foundation executive director Jane Kaluba urged authorities not to pursue the couples.

‘We are disappointed by LCC spokesperson Henry Kapata for showing shock when in fact he is aware that LGBTIs exist and live in our communities,’ Kaluba said.

‘What Mr Kapata did over Easter holiday is an indicator of how isolated gays live in Zambia.’

‘Policy-makers should respect the right to freedom of expression and respect for dignity, they should not instigate the Police Service to investigate and arrest LGBTIs but allow for dialogue.’

Kaluba said that an Easter call by Zambian President Michael Sata for all Zambians to love and forgive each other should be extended to LGBTs as well.

A call by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for Zambia to respect the rights of LGBT people was roundly rejected in March last year.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Equality opponents say legalizing gay rights would lead Trinidad and Tobago to disaster

LGBT rights were highly contested during a public consultation on Trinidad and Tobago's future constitution
No thumbnail available

Dog beaten with hammer in homophobic attack

Jenny Harding's dog, Alice, will need her eye removed following the horrific ordeal in Guernsey
No thumbnail available

Response to anti gay marriage ad recorded

Australian campaign group Get Up record response to anti gay marriage ad as a ‘message of hope’
No thumbnail available

Wet bears and hot geysers in Iceland

One of the world’s smallest but most unusual gay festivals, Bears on Ice took place in Iceland over the weekend 4-7 September
No thumbnail available

SNL makes fun of Ben Carson's theory about prison and sexuality

'Kind of like how in that last sentence, Carson went in as a neurosurgeon and came out as a complete idiot'
No thumbnail available
Years & Years: 'It's sad gay popstars don't use male pronouns'

Years & Years: 'It's sad gay popstars don't use male pronouns'

Band's gay frontman tried to change that on debut album
No thumbnail available

Australian equal marriage campaign to target 50 MPs on gay rights

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) have sent roses to 50 federal MP for Valentines Day – letting them know they’re going to be targeted to change their votes on same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova proposes to partner at the US Open

The proposal was broadcast on the US Open's main stadium's big outdoor screen