LGBTI

Enough is enough! There are no more excuses left. It is time for the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights to pack its bags and leave Banjul – promising to return to its original home when President Yahya Jammeh is eventually removed from office.

It's been a long time coming but the Human Rights Commission in Zambia has finally decided that it will ignore the rantings of the opposition parties and churches and speak out against the discrimination of people on the basis of sexual orientation.

Malawi's former ruling party - the ironically-named Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) - has a lot to answer for. It should be cravenly apologising for the mess it made of Malawi and working to come up with some decent policies for the elections ahead (or disbanding in shame). Instead, it is trying to drum up support by beating the old drum of homosexuality - hoping that this divisive issue will make Malawians forget the party's past abuses.

Enough is enough! The patently absurd – and just as patently politically-motivated – trial of Paul Kasonkomona in Zambia has just been adjourned again. This time until November 11th, apparently because of some faulty DVD equipment.

It’s been a dreadful year for gay rights in Zambia with waves of homophobic hate speech interspersed with spurious arrests and public harassment of same sex couples. But last night an astonishing thing happened – the country’s First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata called for an end to discrimination against sexual minorities.

Occasionally there are stories that are so extraordinarily bizarre that you need to triple check that they’re not on a spoof news website. And ‘sex toys for prisoners in Zimbabwe to stop the spread of homosexuality’ is one such story. It could – should – only be a satirical attack on the homophobic rantings of so many of Zimbabwe’s politicians, church elders and others. But it’s not. It’s a genuine story – although it is in that daily purveyor of hate speech and half-truths, the Herald, so still needs to be taken with a pinch or two of pro ZANU-PF and anti-MDC salt.

And so it came to pass. After weeks of hate speech and ‘gay-bashing’ by homophobic politicians and religious leaders, two men have been arrested in Zambia for the ‘sin’ of being gay. Ever since Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu launched into his latest anti-homosexual tirade a few weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before the police – and public – took action. And now they have.

Zimbabwean homophobes – particularly those high up in the police and government – will be shaking their heads in disbelief today after the High Court dealt a major body blow to their attempts to halt – and indeed criminalise – the work of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ).

our hCard

Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
1 Hood Avenue/148 Jan Smuts; Rosebank, GP 2196; South Africa
E 28° 2.1600000000001" S -26° 8.7420000000001"
Telephone: +27 (0)11 587 5000
FAX: +27 (0)11 587 5099

Twitter Feed

Our newsletters

Sign up for our newsletter to receive stories, research, and news, delivered periodically to your inbox.