Ambasssdor, Check with your boss, check your country’s policy!
MY dear brother, His Excellency Mr. David Foote issued a public statement on the status of a gay couple sentenced to 15 years for their homosexual act.
He condemned the conviction and sentencing of the duo and claimed that government officials who embezzled public funds were let loose.
In August 2018, the Kapiri Mposhi Magistrate Court convicted Stephen Sambo, 30, and Japhet Chataba, 38, after finding them guilty of performing unnatural sexual acts.
They were committed to the High Court for sentencing.
Last week, the High Court sentenced the duo to 15 years imprisonment as provided for by the law.
Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Joseph Malanji has since responded to Ambassador Foote’s remarks and reaffirmed that the sentencing of the duo was within the rule of law and attests to the independence of our Judiciary, and reiterated the sovereignty of our country, to the need for our cooperating partners and stakeholders to respect Zambia’s traditions, culture, and social norms.
He also reminded Diplomats accredited to Zambia to the ideal and proper conduct of any ambassador serving in our country.
He also encouraged ambassadors to follow the laid down procedures in laying complaints, grievances or concerns regarding any matter.
I was persuaded to comment because of the current position of the United States on the matter which appear to differ sharply with Ambassador Foote’s stated position.
But what is happening in the United States about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer summarised in the now famous acronym of LGBTQ?
It is clear to all observers, that by his actions, by his public statements, by his tweets, by his key appointments and policies, President Donald Trump is pushing pro-family policies, and has taken a strong stance against policies that promoted wanton procuring of abortions.
It also clear that he wishes to roll-back aggressive pro-LGBTQ policies and federal funding promoted by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
It should be stated that; President Obama hurt us, Obama hurt Africa!
With his attempt to impose pro-LGBQT policies on Africa despite our repeated objections, despite our known tradition and culture, despite our current legal environement on the matter, Obama pushed hard for Africa to make this matter a priority, overlooking key issues such as poverty, under development, socio-economic, education and health needs.
No matter how many times we argued that this matter offended our social, religious and cultural norms and status, his administration pushed these policies hard.
Africa is still reeling from the effect of his policies and is yet to recover and we hope Amb. Foote is not taking us back to the Obama era.
Because within hours of President Donald Trump’s swearing-in, pages on LGBTQ rights and recognition were removed from government websites, including the White House.
This signaled a recognition that the mainstreaming of these policies would no longer enjoy the previous harmful status.
Since then, President Trump has followed up with policy changes on matters regarding LGBTQ assumed rights and protection.
The Trump administration has withdrawn special privileges fronted as “rights” granted to the LGBTQ community by the Obama administration in; healthcare, employment, housing, education, commerce, the military, and prisons.
President Trump also issued an Executive Order to create obstacles for people seeking to enter the U.S. on the basis of LGBTQ alleged discrimination or harrasment from conservative countries that ban or do not recognize these LGBTQ rights.
The administration has also cut spending to the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief(PEPFAR) for programs related to abortions and LGBTQ.
The government can now refuse visas to same-sex partners seeking to enter the USA which matter has also affected some staff of the United Nations.
The Department of Labor issued a regulation designed to allow federal contractors to claim a religious exemption, and release LGBTQ workers.
The Administration announced they are allowing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to use “religious beliefs” as a basis to refuse placement of children into homes of LGBTQ couples.
The Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) has proposed to abandon the Obama era definition of numerous gender identities and has proposed to revert to the traditional and internationally recognized sex identity of male and female.
Further the HHS has introduced protection to physicians and other medical professionals who decide to refuse to provide LGBTQ transitioning surgeries.
This year, we witnessed something different. State Department issued a directive to ban U.S. embassies across the world from flying the LGBTQ Pride Flag during the Gay Pride Month(June).
Last month, we were overjoyed as African ambassadors, when the United States led a high powered delegation to the ICPD25 Nairobi Summit.
The USA delegation spoke against maneuvers to turn the Conference into a pro-abortion and a pro-LGBTQ event.
This was also followed up by a public statement speaking against elements in the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) that deceptively promoted abortions for adolescents and promoted the LGBTQ agenda.
The statement also spoke against Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) especially parts that redefine gender identity.
So Your Excellency, check the policies of your country and ensure that you perceive correctly the direction that the President whom you represent, has taken.
The Author is Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and is Permanent Representative to the African Union(AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Picture; Ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba with Amb. David Foote at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka
News Source: Mwebantu