11 April 2013

Zambia: Gay Rights Activist Denies Charge

Photo: See-ming Lee/UN
Displaying the rainbow flag of gay rights activists: Despite vocal opposition in a number of African countries, acceptance is slowly gaining ground.

GAY rights activist Paul Kasokomona appeared before the Lusaka Magistrate Court yesterday and denied soliciting for support for homosexual rights amidst claims that he has been unduly and harshly detained by the State.

If convicted of the offence, Kasonkomona 38, an employee of Engender Rights Zambia was liable to serve a one-month sentence or an option for a fine.

Kasonkomona who is represented by Lusaka lawyer, Sunday Nkonde, told resident magistrate Lameck Ng'ambi that he was not guilty.

Mr Ng'ambi has since granted Kasonkomona a KR5, 000 bail in his own recognisance with two working sureties after Mr Nkonde told the court that his client should be granted bail because he was of fixed abode and on HIV/AIDS treatment.

He is charged of one offence of idle disorderly conduct contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that Kasonkomona, of Chilulu Garden Township on April 7, this year being a person in a public place namely Muvi TV studios on a programme called "The Assignment" did solicit for moral purposes for homosexuality rights to be respected in Zambia.

Trial would commence on May 15, this year with the State lining up five witnesses.

Meanwhile Kasonkomona has sued Attorney General Mumba Malila claiming for punitive damages for false imprisonment by the Zambia Police service.

He stated in a statement of claim filed before the court by his lawyer that he was on second line of treatment of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis but his medication had been disturbed because the medicine was in the hands of the Police.

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