By Peter Chazya Sinkamba
THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR HAS A BEEF WITH PF GOVERNMENT WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH JAILING OF HOMOSEXUALS
Honestly speaking, the American Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote has a beef with the PF Government which has nothing to do with the jailing by Lusaka High Court of two Kapiri Mposhi homosexuals.
This is so because the United States has some of most stringent sentences for sexual offences in the world which by far cannot be comparable to the 15 years imposed on the two homosexuals.
Take for instance the case of sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein who liked young women. In 2008, prosecutors forged a deal with whereby he avoided federal charges – which could have seen him face life in prison – and instead received an 18-month prison sentence, during which he was able to go on work-release to his office for 12 hours a day, six days a week. He was released on probation after 13 months. Last month Jeff committed suicide in prison avoiding life imprisonment this time around. So really, longevity of the sentence for a sexual offence cannot be a factor for the outrage.
Put differently, in essence, the American Ambassador is a hypocrite. It is not fair to condemn the High Court for the harsh sentence. Sexual offence sentences in the United States are harsher and can attract up to life imprisonment on Federal charges. Even polygamy and bigamy are serious sexual offences which attract 15 years or more. So, what is the fuss about on the 15 years?
The real issue that has pissed off the Ambassador is corruption. This is the axis of evil for the beef. I think the Ambassador is just pissed off due to rampant corruption in PF Government. It appears to me that he had to find an excuse to spit it out the beef!
It is also important to mention that here in Zambia there are even stiffer sentences for victim-less crimes, such as possession and the so-called trafficking in cannabis. These offences attract up to 25 years. In actual fact, our prisons are full of cannabis related offenders. We have more than 7,000 prisoners who are languishing in jails across the country for cannabis-related offences. This is almost one third of the prison population since there are about 22,000 prisoners across the country. In all fairness, this is where we expect the Ambassador to express disgust instead of 2 out of 22,000 prisoners.
Lastly, it is important to also mention that sexuality is a regional or country issue. For example, polygamy is a legal sexual issue here in Zambia but an offence in the USA. In the USA, LGBT is a legal sexual issue but an offence here in Zambia. We, as Zambians respect the sexuality of Americans on LGBT. Americans must also respect sexuality too.
If Americans feels strongly against the laws of Zambia on LGBT, the best thing to do is to open up the American visa system for LGBT people. May be, America can have a green card system for LGBT people which could be used as a means for such people to easily travel and settle in the USA where LGBT is perfectly legal. After all, we do not have many Zambians in the USA compared to other African countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia who went there in great numbers on a deliberate American policy.”
The most important lesson from this hullabaloo is that PF should seriously address the corruption. This PF Government has not put in place a Trump Strategy. If one day President Trump wakes up and tweets sanctions on Zambia, then our medical care system will crumble like a cookie.The writing is on the wall and we shudder to see such a move happen in the near future going by the economic performance of Zambia.