Zambia: U.S. Recalls Zambia Envoy After Spat Over Gay Sex Sentencing

Lusaka — The United States has recalled its Zambia envoy after the country's president demanded his removal for criticising the jailing of two gay men, a US embassy source said on Monday.

Ambassador Daniel Foote came under fire after he expressed dismay at two men being jailed for 15 years for homosexuality last month and urged the government to review discriminatory laws.

Foote said at the time that Zambia wanted diplomats "with open pocketbooks and closed mouths" and warned of a "decaying relationship" between the countries.

President Edgar Lungu, in power since 2015, faces mounting complaints that he is cracking down on dissent and seeking to consolidate power ahead of an election in 2021.

He made an official complaint against Foote saying he did not "want such people" among Zambians.

"Lungu said he does not want to work with the man and so there was no point in him remaining here," the embassy source told AFP.

"Remember that there are issues of security and so Washington want their man back. We do not expect a replacement soon."

Another US embassy source confirmed Foote had been recalled, saying he had been declared persona non grata.

Zambia is one of the largest per-capita recipients of American assistance in the world, getting some $500 million (450 million euros) each year.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Citizen

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.