Zambia’s justice minister Wynter Kabimba has gone public with his opposition to efforts to protect gays and lesbians in his country. Kabimba, who is also secretary general of the Patriotic Front, unleashed a tirade against gay rights this week and what he views as an international conspiracy to spend “colossal sums of money” to promote homosexuality. He is just the latest African leader to strike out at gays and lesbians.
Kabimba declared that Zambia has “no room for gays” and told his party to watch out for foreigners conspiring to “import” homosexuality to Zambia. He insisted that
“[a]s Zambians, we declared that we are a Christian nation and there is no way we can allow this un-Zambian culture. I want to urge all Zambians to rise and denounce this vice. . . . Why should someone or institutions want to import this homosexuality and try to influence others to practise it? We can’t allow it, I am calling on all citizens to stand firm and reject it.”
He rejected the idea that Zambians could be gay or lesbian by nature and pointed to “some international organisations which had pumped in colossal sums of money to sponsor the vice.”
His words will no doubt fuel the rising attacks on gays and lesbians in the country. There are numerous reports of arbitrary arrests and violence directed against Zambia’s homosexual community. Notably, Kabimba has combined this hateful message with religious affiliation of government. That combination is well known to gays and lesbians facing abuse and even killings by government-linked groups.