President of the opposition Patriots for Economic Progress Sean Tembo has challenged President Edgar Lungu to apologise to former US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote for the victimisation and humiliation he suffered for condemning the imprisonment of a gay couple.
Mr Tembo said the pardoning of the gay couple by the President has vindicated Mr Foote who said the 15 years imprisonment of the couple was hilarious.
Speaking on Hot FM, Mr Tembo said President Lungu has no option but to apologise to the recalled Ambassador for the I’ll treatment by both his party the Patriotic Front and Government Officials.
Mr Tembo said the pardoning of the gay couple has also vindicated various stakeholders in Zambia who condemned the imprisonment as severe.
He added that the pardoning of the gay couple by the President also contradicts his government’s stance on homosexuality.
President Lungu has pardoned two men who were jailed last year for having sex with each other.
Their 15-year sentence triggered a diplomatic row, which ended in the recalling of the US ambassador Daniel Foote.
The two men, Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba, were listed among the names of nearly 3,000 prisoners to be pardoned to mark Africa Freedom Day, which fell on Monday.
Zambia is a deeply conservative society where homosexual acts are illegal.
In December 2019, the US recalled Mr Foote who a month earlier said he was “horrified” that a judge had sentenced the men to 15 years in prison after they were caught having sex in 2017.
The government accused him of trying to dictate policy, and President Edgar Lungu declared him persona non grata.