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that defends the rights of Lesbians, Transgender
and Intersex persons
in Africa. 


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AFRICA BY COUNTRY ~ Zambia                                       


Sodomy in Zambia


Zambia, 3 July 2014
On July 3, a court in Kapiri Mposhi, in Zambia, acquitted Philip Mubiana and James Mwape. They had been held in jail for almost fourteen months, charged with homosexual sex under Zambia’s sodomy law, which carries a sentence of up to fourteen years. The presiding judge didn’t comment on the justice of the law itself; he only found that there was no substantive evidence against the accused, who were arrested on hearsay and suspicion, reportedly turned in by family members.


The triumph for the two is mixed; with their faces and names published all over Zambian media, their lives in the country are wrecked. Still, the court’s decision reflects the strength and persistence of Zambian LGBT campaigners. It brings back memories for me, vivid and piercing. I first visited Zambia sixteen years ago, in 1998, when the country was in the midst of a huge collective frenzy about the dangers of “homosexuality.” With every public figure from university professors to the President himself taking turns deploring the incursion of perversion, it seemed unlikely that there would ever be a Zambian LGBT movement, much less a court victory to celebrate. What happened back then holds lessons not just for Zambia, but for other movements today. Some indulgence in my own memories of sodomy in Zambia may thus be justified.


Read the full extended story at the Paper Bird.


State of LGBTI Rights in Zambia


13 November 2013, Zambia
Iranti met with Juliet Mphande, the Director of Friends of RAINKA, an LGBTI human rights organisation based in Lusaka, Zambia. Jabu C. Pereira, the Director of Iranti, asked Juliet about the current threats facing LGBTI activists in Zambia. In October a homophobic blog in Zambia reported that LGBTI activists were in Sweden, soliticing money for the promotion of homosexuality. This was factually incorrect and clearly aimed at getting the activists arrested under the Zambian penal code.


Over the months we witnessed the increased arrests of LGBTI activists, including Paul Kasonkomona who was charged under section 178(g) of the Zambian Penal Code which provides that “every person who in any public place solicits for immoral purposes” is deemed an idle and disorderly person, and liable to imprisonment for one month or a fine.


We urge you to support and highlight the struggles in Zambia, and help work towards a decriminalised state where the recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity is recognised as a human right.



6 November 2013
Zambia, Times of Zambia: The derailment of effective strides taken against HIV in Zambia is likely unless we can remove the stigma on men having sex with men, says first lady, Christine Kaseba.


31 October 2013
Zambia, Civicus. More than 100 groups call on Zambian President to halt NGO law that gives government officials too much discretion to interfere with their independence and activities and breaches international best-practice frameworks.


6 October 2013
Zambia, SALC Bloggers: The October arrest of Zambian human rights activist, Paul Kasonkomona, in terms of the Zambian Penal Code (every person who in any public place solicits for immoral purposes, is deemed an idle and disorderly person and liable to imprisonment for one month or a fine). The unnamed arresting detective had seen little of a TV program on which Kasonkomona appeared pleading for decriminalization of same-sex sex practices in the interests of HIV prevention. Nonetheless the detective concluded that Kasonkomona statement that it is not wrong to be homosexual, amounted to soliciting for immoral purposes.


6 September 2013
Zambia, SALC Bloggers: The May arrest of two Zambians charged in terms of the Zamibian Penal Code (that those having carnal knowledge of each other against the order of nature should be imprisoned between fifteen years and life imprisonment) has led to ongoing harassment by fellow inmates at the remand facility and little viable evidence being led by the Zambian State judicial body.





Table of contents


LGBTI organisations


Friends of RAINKA

Establishlishing member services based on identified needs and priorities, we research, gather, analyze and disseminate information. Our aim is to have Zambia view Human rights as indivisible and universal - as is enshrined in international law. RAINKA aims to protect, advance and promote the Human Rights of Zambian sexual minorities by engaging law and policy makers in legal reform, whilst building capacity to undertake effective advocacy.










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