Zambia: Gay rights activist arrested for ‘inciting indecent activities’

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A Zambian activist, Paul Kasonkomona, was arrested on Sunday following a live television appearance in which he argued for gay rights.

Laws in Zambia prohibit same-sex sexual activity between both males and females. Although anti-discrimination clauses in the country’s constitution may be interpreted to override this they do not specifically ban anti-LGBT discrimination.

Police in Lusaka, the country’s capital, waited outside the studios of MUVI TV to arrest Mr Kasonkomona as he called on the Zambian government to respect gay rights as human rights in an interview on live talk show “The Assignment”.

Officers reportedly tried to cut the interview short, but managers of the television station refused.

Friends of Mr Kasonkomona tried to hide him in a car, but he was found during a police search before leaving the grounds of the television studio. He was charged with “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities”.

Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela later warned that homosexual activity would be brought to book.

Last year a gay rights activist was found dead in Tanzania, which borders Zambia to the north.

This weekend a gay couple in South Africa held a wedding ceremony with traditions from their Zulu and Tswana heritages, and said they hoped it might change people’s views that being gay is un-African and help end homophobia on the continent.