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Archive for Zambia

U.S. recalls ambassador to Zambia after dispute over gay rights

The United States has recalled its ambassador to Zambia after he waded into a dispute over gay and lesbian rights with the president of the southern African nation. The U.S. State Department confirmed it has recalled diplomat Daniel Foote after it was told Zambian President Edgar Lungu would no longer work with him. Saying they were “dismayed” by Lungu’s stance, U.S. officials conceded Foote’s position in Zambia was “no longer tenable” after the American envoy last month criticized 15-year prison sentences handed down to two gay men convicted of having sex. Sexual relations among gay Zambians, even consensual, is outlawed. (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/12/24/US-recalls-ambassador-to-Zambia-after-dispute-over-gay-rights/7611577194532/) The department said there are no immediate plans to send another diplomat to Zambia, Bloomberg reported. “Despite this action, the United States remains committed to our partnership with the Zambian people,” a State Department spokesperson said, emphasizing that the United States “firmly opposes abuses against” lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. Zambian Foreign Minister Joseph Malanji first registered displeasure with Foote last month after the U.S. ambassador said he was “horrified” at the long prison terms imposed on the gay men. Malanji said the government strongly disagreed with Foote’s view, and concluded that his questioning Zambian courts “is tantamount to questioning the Zambian Constitution.”

Newsline: State Department defends US ambassador to Zambia

The State Department defended U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote after the country’s president said he should leave over his defense of a gay couple sentenced to 15 years in prison under a colonial-era sodomy law. Media reports indicate Edgar Lungu told ZNBC TV, a government-owned television station, his administration has “complained officially to the American government.” “We are waiting for their response because we don’t want such people in our midst,” said Lungu, referring to Foote. “We want him gone.” (https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/12/19/state-department-defends-us-ambassador-to-zambia/) Foote late last month publicly criticized the sentencing of the two men who were convicted of “crimes against the order of nature.” Foote later said “threats made against me” prompted him to not attend World AIDS Day events. “We are dismayed by the Zambian government’s statement that Ambassador Foote’s position ‘is no longer tenable,’ which we consider to be the equivalent of a declaration that the ambassador is persona non grata,” a State Department official told the Washington Blade in a statement. “Despite this action, the United States remains committed to our partnership with the Zambian people.” Zambia is among the dozens of countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized. The Trump administration earlier this year announced U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell would lead an initiative that encourages nations to decriminalize homosexuality.

Newsline: Zambia asks Cuba to recall ambassador for backing new opposition party

Zambia has asked Cuba to recall its ambassador for openly supporting the newly launched opposition Socialist Party, the president’s spokesman said on Sunday. Amos Chanda said ambassador Nelson Pages Vilas spoke at the party’s launch on Saturday. Political tensions were rekindled in Zambia last month when the country’s main opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND), filed a motion seeking to impeach President Edgar Lungu over accusations of breaching the constitution. The UPND challenged Lungu’s 2016 election victory in court, alleging fraud, arguing that that obliged him to hand over power to parliament’s speaker until the court considered its petition. Lungu has denied electoral fraud. He directed that the Cuban ambassador be recalled “for behavior unbecoming of a diplomat,” Chanda told a media briefing, adding that diplomatic ties with Cuba would be retained.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zambia-politics/zambia-asks-cuba-to-recall-ambassador-for-backing-new-opposition-party-idUSKCN1H817X

Newsline: Former Zambian diplomat to Germany accused of engaging girls to practice prostitution

A former Zambian diplomat to Germany has been found with a case to answer for allegedly engaging girls to practice prostitution. Friday Nkamba, a former political secretary at the Zambian Embassy in Germany from 1994 to 2002, has since been put on his defence. Nkamba, of Emmasdale Township in Lusaka, is alleged to have between January 1, 2012 and October 29, 2013 procured five girls to become common prostitutes. The girls testified how Nkamba would allow them to stay in his house while doing prostitution in exchange for payments. They also testified how on other times the former diplomat would join them in bed and have sex with any one of them in full view of the other girls. Resident magistrate William Banda found Nkamba with a case to answer. The matter was adjourned to October 31 for mention and setting of a date when he would open his defence.

http://www.lusakatimes.com/2014/10/16/former-diplomat-found-case-answer-sex-allegations/

Newsline: France Reduces Embassy in Zambia

The French Government has started downsizing some of its embassies around the world including Zambia where the consular services and visa applications to France will now be handled by the Embassy of Sweden. Outgoing French Ambassador to Zambia and Malawi Marie-Annick Bourdin said the Embassy in Lusaka was not closing but that the French Government was narrowing down the priorities of its mission in Zambia including re-organising the consular services. She said the changes were necessitated by the impact of the debt and budgetary pressure that is currently constraining the margins of action of the French Government. “Our Embassy in Lusaka, as well as 12 others in the world, will undergo downsizing in the coming year. I would like to stress very clearly here that we are not closing the Embassy. “Faced with a further diminution of our human and financial resources, my successor will have to narrow down the priorities of our mission to Zambia and as per instructions, reorganise in particular the consular services,” she said.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201406090027.html

Newsline: Japan appoints new ambassadors to Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Zambia, Panama, South Sudan

The Japanese government on Friday appointed new ambassadors to the Netherlands, Sweden and 5 other nations, all effective the same day. Masaru Tsuji, 62, who previously served as ambassador to Croatia from January 2012, was appointed as ambassador to the Netherlands, while Seiji Morimoto, 62, was appointed as ambassador to Sweden. The other appointments are Akio Egawa, 62, as ambassador to Slovakia; Tsuguo Takahashi, 62, as ambassador to Azerbaijan; Kiyoshi Koinuma, 58, as ambassador to Zambia; Hiroaki Isobe, 58, as ambassador to Panama; Takeshi Akamatsu, 50, as ambassador to South Sudan.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/131011/japan-appoints-new-ambassadors-netherlands-sweden-5-ot

Newsline: Zambia Mulls Opening Embassy In Cuba

Zambian Foreign Minister Effron Chakupa Lungu has indicated his country’s willingness to open an embassy in Havana. Lungu expressed the hope during a meeting with Cuban Parliament President Esteban Lazo. Cuba and Zambia established diplomatic relations in December 1972.

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/wn/newsworld.php?id=949718