Locked up for love… on gay rights in Zambia


In Zambia there’s a law prohibiting “homosexual behaviour” and on those grounds two gay men were arrested in April this year after the sister to one of them caught them ‘in the act’. They were later released on bond but after the sister caught them again they were locked up so not to repeat their “crime”. It was a culmination of what was going on in the country at the time. A gay rights activist, Paul Kasonkomona,  had earlier in the same month been detained for “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities” and Zambias then home affairs minister Edgar Lungu had called upon all citizens to report anyone engaging in “homosexual behaviour” to the police. I blogged about gay rights back then here, and earlier here. Media and politicians alike then quickly went quiet on the issue, most likely hoping the gay rights issue would die quietly. Or as our Vice President Guy Scott said in an interview “let sleeping dogs lie”. The two gay men have been kept in custody from the 6th of May, their court hearing started on the 12th of September. Last week Amnesty Intl called for their release and questioned the very humiliating “tests” conducted on the two after their arrests. As the Mail&Guardian writes the two men are now facing two counts each of committing offences “against the order of nature”.

I find it sad that people can be locked up for simply wanting to live a life differently from the majority. These two Zambian men love each other and are not hurting anyone by the way they live. It is simply the fear of the unknown, pressure from society at large and churches preaching hate that is creating this situation where a small part of population is being discriminated. Hopefully one day gay people won’t have to live in fear of arrest even in Zambia and people will come to realize that we are all human beings. I have hope that it is the direction we are moving in, not only in the west by so too in Africa. I have argued my case in previous posts on this issue and my standpoint is simple – nobody should be locked up for love!


6 thoughts on “Locked up for love… on gay rights in Zambia

  1. Zambia has so many issues that need to be addressed when it comes to crime. We have so many cases of women abuse, child rape and assault but here we go speanding valuable resources on innocent citizens. Would be great if we could staring putting our energy on things that make a difference.

    1. Exactly! Just take gender based violence for example! Women getting brutually beaten by their own husbands. And the rising cases of gangrapes, that should cause a puplic storm, but no, people are more conserned with two guys loving each other!

  2. You are so right! Let us hope that things will change. Want my gay friends to be able to come visit us i Zambia when that time comes without being scared of being jailed.

    1. Baby steps, hopefully in the right directions! In europe governments have taken the lead and legalized against (some) peoples will (eg France), I think here it will have to go from the bottom up and it will take time for people to change….

  3. I think gays have a right to be how they are; and not locked up on prision.
    They have hurt no one at all.
    Infact democracy should be tolarante to this…
    I live in Germany ( political members are gay)
    They not behind Bars!!!
    Who are we to judge. ??
    Let them live freely!!!

    1. Yes, I agree, I think it’s important that we remember that it’s not about or personal opinion about homosexuality that should rule their lives. It’s none of our business how other choose to live as long as it’s not affecting other negatively. Thanks for your comment.

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