By Henry Kyambalesa
I wish to comment on Vice President George Kunda’s incessant reference to Patriotic Front (PF) President Michael Sata over the last several months as being a supporter of homosexuality. In a recent Times of Zambia article of February 10 2011 entitled “Sata Is Telling Lies,” for example, he is quoted as having said the following: “There have been several articles in the Times of Zambia and in the Zambia Daily Mail that he [Sata] supports homosexuality.”
Firstly, Comrade Kunda does not seem to know what he ought to know: that the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail seek out news stories which demonize opposition political parties and their leaders on the one hand, and those which glorify the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and its leaders on the other hand. Anyone who has faith in everything that is reported by the Times of Zambia, the Zambia Daily Mail and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), therefore, needs to have his or her head examined.
Secondly, the learned Vice President and Minister of Justice needs to take a neutral position on issues which are likely to incite some segments of Zambian society to rise against other citizens. He needs to take the lead in ensuring that whatever he says is not based on his own opinions, or on innuendos, speculations or on promoting hatred for a particular politician or group of citizens.
After all, our country’s constitution does not recognize same-sex unions, same-sex marriages or same-sex adoptions. What Comrade Kunda needs to do is to introduce a Bill in Parliament which will address issues relating to sexual orientation, particularly with respect to whether or not there should be a ban on discrimination of any individual on the basis of his or her sexual orientation.
It is important to note, though, that South Africa provides a special case in Africa because it recognizes same-sex sexual activity, same-sex unions, same-sex marriages, and same-sex adoptions, and allows gays to serve openly in the military. The country also has laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In fact, the laws in South Africa are similar to those in Israel—God’s chosen land!
Also, it is important to note that “same-sex sexual activity” is LEGAL for both male and female citizens in some other African countries—including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Rwanda.
In Central America, North America, South America, and the Caribbean, “same-sex sexual activity” is LEGAL for both male and female citizens with the exception of a few countries like Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.
In Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, “same-sex sexual activity” is LEGAL for both male and female citizens with the exception of a few countries like Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
In all of Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe and Western Europe, “same-sex sexual activity” is LEGAL for both male and female citizens.
Comrade Kunda seems to have a flare for ‘divide and rule’ tactics. Not too long ago, while on a campaign trail in Maamba, he portrayed Comrade Sata as a tribalist “who has hatred for Tongas … [and who] cannot work with … Tongas.”
Tribe and ethnicity are highly sensitive and emotive issues, any mention of which must be used only to unite the people, not to isolate a particular political opponent, or to pit a political opponent against a particular tribe or ethnic grouping.
I hope he will try to make an earnest effort to be a little bit more modest and courteous when he gets back onto the campaign trail. It is not too late for him to try to be a role model.
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