US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote must restrain against the temptation were the US will be seen to be imposing laws aimed at tolerating homosexuality among the Zambian population, the Young African Leaders initiative (YALI) has charged.
Speaking at a Press Briefing held on Sunday, YALI President Andrew Ntewewe noted that sentiments by the US Ambassador and his outright condemnation of the Lusaka High Court which must be seen as independent from any influence in the administration of the criminal justice system may lead Zambian to have an impression that the US Government under President Donald Trump desire to interfere in the country’s right to self-determination.
Mr Ntewewe said Zambians have a duty to defend Judges and judicial system against any conduct calculated at undermining their independence in the exercise of judicial functions, adding that the Courts in Zambian exercise should be seen to exercise its judicial authority based on the powers conferred on them by the People of Zambia, who are a sovereign.
The YALI Chief has also expressed disappointment that bodies such as the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) who claim to have a duty to defend the Constitution have not risen to defend the High Court for imposing a minimum sentence against the attacks from foreign entities.
He has equally wondered why the Church which is responsible for promoting higher standards of morality and Godly behaviour has remained silent when judges are being attacked for sending people involved in homosexuality to jail.
“In fact, those two misfits who were jailed to 15 years were given leniency by the sentencing judge who administered the minimum sentence of 15 years when he could have opted for the maximum life imprisonment as stated in sections 155 of the penal code , chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia,” Mr Ntewewe noted.
In calling for political parties to come out strong in defence of the courts and the country’s laws, Mr Ntewewe further demanded that the UPND who are associated with the Africa Liberal Network, an openly gay-promoting organization should come out and state their position with clarity on whether they support the sentencing of the two misfits to 15 years or not.
YALI has since assured the judiciary of their full support and that of Zambians and emphasized that it is unfortunate and unacceptable for anyone to make comments that demean the country’s sovereignty and the hard fought independence.
Meanwhile, YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza, commenting on the Constitutional amendment Bill Number 10, has appealed to members of parliament both from the ruling and the opposition to rise beyond partisan politics in order to give Zambians what would be best for posterity.
Mr Mwanza said it was gratifying to note that LAZ and the Chapter One Foundation were allowed to exercise their right to petition the courts who have speedily determined the matter.
“Our view is that the constitution of Zambia belongs to all citizens of this country, those who wanted it amended by enactment of bill number 10 or those who don’t want it enacted into law. None of these two opposing groups are bigger than the other in terms of having a say on their constitution and must respect divergent views on the proposed amendments,” Mr Mwanza said.
And answering the question on whether YALI expected diplomats to join internal political debates the way the US Ambassador did, Mr. Mwanza wondered what would happen if the Zambian Ambassadors in Washington were to join the Democrats in calling for impeachment of Trump.
“We don’t believe our Ambassador will last another day in the US if he decided to join the internal debate in America by taking a hard stance on the calls to impeach US President on allegations that he tied aid to Ukraine in exchange of his own political interests. So we expect foreign diplomats to also restrain themselves when it comes to the governance of this country or the type of laws we decide to have,” said Mr Mwanza