Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has said the country will not change its laws on homosexuality in exchange for donor aid.
Lungu made the remarks when outgoing Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, Henrik Cederin, and European Union head of delegation Alessandro Mariani visited him at state house. The president was quoted as saying that “there are certain rights which are enjoyed in some parts of the world which may not be accepted by Zambians”.
Zambia is a socially conservative country and homosexual acts carry a jail sentence of up to 14 years.
The laws relate to the British colonial penal code. Unlike in Kenya, where homosexuality is also illegal, there is no gay rights movement that is out in the open.
In 2011, the United Kingdom and United States warned they would use foreign aid to push for homosexuality to be decriminalised in Africa.
In Zambia’s neighbour Botswana, a court last month rejected colonial-era laws that imposed up to seven-year jail terms for same-sex relationships, saying they were unconstitutional. But the Botswana government said it would appeal against the landmark ruling.