43 anti-LGBT violations in Zambia; 'accident waiting to happen'

Published: September 30, 2013

 In the midst of a crackdown on homosexuals, Zambia has been the scene of at least 43 LGBT-related violations of people’s rights in the past six months, according to a new report by the local LGBT activist organization Friends of Rainka.

Even worse incidents could occur, the report suggests, because “the situation for LGBTI persons in Zambia at best can be described as volatile – simply an accident waiting to happen.”
The 43 recent incidents include many previously unreported cases of harassment, discrimination, beatings, and blackmail of LGBT people, in addition to more widely reported arrests and trials. The report cites the following examples in addition to cases that have been reported in the media:
• The beating up of two gay men aged 19 and 21 in Lusaka when they were allegedly found in compromising positions outside a nightclub. The two did not press any charges for fear of being arrested.
• One gay man being blackmailed by the heterosexual guy he had sex with. The heterosexual guy insists it wasn’t consensual sex and therefore he would report him if he does not pay him money.
• The proprietor of a guest lodge in Livingstone who was allegedly having sexual relations with one of his male workers who then reported this to the police. The accused has since fled the country.
• In Kitwe, an effeminate gay man was beaten up in a local pub at the height of state persecution of LGBT persons. He has since been taken to the village by his family for ‘cleansing’ to rid him of what they term as ‘the gay demon’. Several other parents are now ordering holy water from renowned Nigerian bishop TB
 Joshua to heal their sons.
• Continued bullying of a 17-year-old grade 10 schoolboy in Lusaka by classmates over his perceived sexual orientation.
• Two 16-year-old schoolgirls in a boarding school in Mufulira, Copperbelt province, were allegedly caught having sex by the male sports master. He chased away one girl and raped the other. Thereafter he reported them to authorities after the rape victim threatened to expose him. The two girls have since been expelled from the school.
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