U.S recalls its ambassador to Zambia over homosexuality

The United States on Monday recalled its ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote after he criticized the jailing of a gay couple.

This follows a retaliation move by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu who on December 15, sent a protest letter to the U.S over the remarks made by Foote.

The U.S expressed dismay at President Lungu’s statement which according to the report said Foot’s position was no longer tenable.

As reported by one of the U.S local media, a spokesperson for the U.S State Department said Washington D.C was shocked at the outcome.

Zambia’s high court on November jailed the male gay couple for 15 years for engaging in sexual relations against the order of nature, a decision the U.S. ambassador said was horrifying.

Despite the unfolding, the U.S said its relationship with Zambia remains committed to the course.

“Despite this action, the United States remains committed to our partnership with the Zambian people,” the spokesperson said. “

“We seek an open and frank relationship of mutual respect, commensurate with the generous aid provided to the Zambian people by the United States.”

Zambia receives hundreds of millions of dollars every year in financial support from the United States, some of which goes towards fighting HIV/AIDS.

Homosexuality in Africa

Zambia’s move against homosexuality paints a synonymous picture with Kenya’s when President Uhuru Kenyatta during an interview in CNN in April 2018, reiterated that Kenya had never considered gay rights relevant as it goes against the cultural beliefs of Kenyans.

“I want to be very clear, I will not engage in any subject that is not of any major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya. This is not an issue of human rights, this is an issue of society, of our own base as a culture as a people regardless of which society you come from. This is not acceptable, this is not agreeable,” said Kenyatta.

During Obama’s visit to Kenya in July 2015, President Kenyatta sternly told the former US president that Kenya was not ready to embrace homosexuality.

He urged the US to respect the will of the Kenyan society which he said had rejected same-sex marriages.

“We share a lot of things but gay issues are not among them. We cannot impose on people what they don’t accept,” Uhuru told Obama when he hosted him at State House, Nairobi.

African countries have some of the world’s most prohibitive laws governing homosexuality.

Same-sex relationships are considered taboo and gay sex is a crime across most of the continent, with punishments ranging from imprisonment to death.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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