The deplorable sentence of purportedly gays to 15 years’ imprisonment for a mediocre “crime against the order of nature” speaks to the moral bankruptcy of Zambia’s judicial system. No right thinking person, let alone judge would pronounce such a sentence unless one is mentally unstable or forced to undress oneself to win political favor from the supreme leader.
I am embarrassed to even call this foolishness a legal ruling–it is simply nauseating, malevolent, and irrational. Courts are the conscience of the nation, but in Zambia, they are rapidly becoming fountains of injustice and moral inanity. No wonder hoi polloi overpopulate lice-infested jails, while politically connected villains get away with it. The 15 years’ sentence is a prime example of this farcicality.
I have repeatedly indicted our justice system as rotten to the core. How many rapists have served 15 years in prison? How many corrupt politicians have been sentenced to 15 years? And how many politicians have been arrested for sexual harassment? How about those who have raped and even impregnated minors? In today’s Zambia, we pay judges to punish the innocent and reward dishonest officials. To expect justice from the rotten Zambian legal system is like looking for a good piece of meat from the rotten cadaver.
There is no moral or Christian basis for this thoughtless or crazy ruling. Until the uninformed court proves how sex between two consenting adults violate my individual rights, this ruling is a testament to the incompetence of those who sit in our courts. So what has happened to legal decency? Who has bewitched our courts to pass injustice for justice? Besides, is it not an insult to the dreams of independence that we can employ King Henry VIII’s law (the man who married six times) to send born-free Zambians to jail in 2019? Or is this an illustration of courts dancing to political interests? Kaya!
Corrupt politicians love immoral courts and religious leaders. Amidst lack of moral judgement, Zambian courts have become instruments of discrimination. Who does not know the number of politically connected criminals who roam our streets with pride? Who does not know corrupt politicians who drive expensive cars and grab other people’s wives and husbands? Unless they backslide from the worship of the Criminal in Chief, they remain above the law? That archbishops, bishops, pastors and priests are silent on this unjust ruling is hard to believe.
As a nation, we have lost the sense of integrity. Even preschoolers would see the injustice of this ghastly sentence. Judges are not automated machines who are programmed to dispense prison terms without ethical reasoning. Laws don’t change themselves, but are changed by legal minds that challenge the basis for such senseless and foolish laws. Any level minded judge would not only question the immorality of such laws, but also refrain from furthering the injustice.
Appearances are deceptive. President Lungu may appear imprudent but he is a strategic politician. His rise to power speaks millions as to his ability to dupe masses. This deplorable ruling is not coincidental–rather it is part of his 2021 election strategy that PF cadres have raised over and over again. Unfortunately, HH is caught in it.
Whereas I address HH’s role in this ruling, the Lungu administration is internationally known for corruption–something that has led to numerous criticisms from Western ambassadors. But like Museveni of Uganda, Lungu expects the donor community to lobby him to pardon the gay couple–the leverage his corrupt administration has been longing for in attempts to deflect from verifiable cases of misuse of donor funds and the growing concerns on constitutional amendments. Should Western ambassadors get their wish, they will happily celebrate Lungu’s intervention in this PF-self created human rights crisis–providing the false impression that he supports good governance. But we all know better–his heroes and mentors are corrupt war criminals like the late Robert Mugabe, Paul Kagame and of course the murderous Saudi regime.
But there is another strategic reason for the same. As donor funding dries up, and calls for transparency increase, the PF administration will explain the donors’ blacklisting of Zambia as due to Lungu’s opposition to homosexuality. With Rev. Sumaili on its payroll and countless religious leaders shout “more money in our offertory plates,” this far-fetched claim will mollify ignorant Christians to sing:
“Onward Christian” [thieves]! Marching as pirates,
with brown envelopes going on before.”
And countless pastors will compete in singing:
“O when the [thieves] go matching in,
O [Lungu] I want to be in that number.
O when the [thieves] go matching in.’