15 March 2011

Zambia: Church Slams Sata's Gay Rights Stance

The Church has strongly condemned the stance taken by Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata regarding gay and lesbian rights, saying such acts should not be entertained in a Christian nation like Zambia.

Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) president David Masupa and International Fellowship of Christian Churches (IFCC) leader Simon Chihana said in separate interviews in Lusaka yesterday that Zambians should not tolerate leaders advocating for immoral acts.

Reverend Masupa said the Church would openly de-campaign leaders such as Mr Sata who promoted activities which were morally wrong.

He said in an interview that contrary to Mr Sata's claim that there were laws in Zambia that recognised gay rights, homosexuality was a crime in the country and punishable under the penal code.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the advocacy of homosexuality in our country. The records are clear and Section 155 Cap 87 of the Penal Code is categorical that such acts are criminal.

"We cannot allow such practices and it must be noted that Zambia is not a lawless country," he said.

Rev Masupa urged Zambians to be wary of leaders who were capable of going against the laws and tradition to woo international support.

Mr Sata recently told the Danish media that there were laws in Zambia that recognised gay rights and that there was need to implement them.

He said there was need for Zambia to implement the laws regarding gays and lesbians in Zambia in line with what other countries had done.

Mr Sata told a crew from Denmark recently, which included Lene Winther and Thomas Duus, that the laws had not been implemented and expressed displeasure that his stand on the gays and Lesbians had been used for propaganda.

"Some people are saying I am talking to you people because I want to bring back gays and I tell them that listen, the laws of Zambia recognise the gays. The laws of Zambia recognise the lesbians," Mr Sata said.

And Bishop Chihana said it was shameful for the PF leader to embrace homosexuality without a sense of conscience for his children and grandchildren.

He said Mr Sata should revisit his stance on the matter, and that the Church had vehemently opposed such acts in Zambia.

Bishop Chihana said as Africans in general and Zambians in particular, there was need to uphold cultural and traditional values, including the biblical beliefs which did not allow the citizens to engage in such abominable activities.

Zambia Episcopal Conference spokesperson Paul Samasumo said he would comment on the matter later because he had been out of the office for two weeks.

"I can only comment on the matter tomorrow (today) when I am in the office," Father Samasumo said.

Evangelical Youth Alliance International president Moses Lungu said the organisation would de-campaign Mr Sata because of his intention to legalise homosexuality in Zambia.

Rev Lungu said Zambians should ensure that the PF leader was not elected as president because his desire to legalise homosexuality was not in the interest of Zambians.

"As EYAI, we are strongly opposed to legalising homosexuality and this is why we are going to de-campaign Mr Sata.

"We are meeting with the youth who constitute 70 per cent of the country's population and as such as, we will ensure that we help the young people to reason properly," Rev Lungu said.

Redeemed Methodist Church Bishop Nasson Nswana said his Church did not support homosexuality.

"We cannot allow same-sex relationships in a Christian nation and the laws of Zambia are clear as they don't allow that," Rev Nswana said.

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