UN Sec Gen advocates for gays in Africa
February 27th, 2012
Sometimes you learn things through the most round-about ways. For example, it is in an article about the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD), a Zambian peace, security and democracy organization, that I learned the following:
During a meeting with former President Kenneth Kaunda, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for countries to recognize and respect homosexuality.
I had no idea that Ban had spoken with African presidents about respecting their gay citizens.
Call for Reporting Gays in Zambia
March 27th, 2009
According to Behind the Mask, the Vice-President of Zambia has called for Zambians to report suspected homosexuals so that they can be prosecuted.
“Zambia is a Christian nation and it shall continue to be so because it is part of our constitution. And acts such as homosexuality are not part of the Christian norm. In 2005, this house passed stiff laws against homosexuality. For people having carnal knowledge of each other against the order of nature the punishment is a minimum of 15 years imprisonment. If you have carnal knowledge of an animal you serve a minimum of 25 years”.
Vice president Kunda said, as a good number of parliamentarians said “yes, yes” ” I know there are some prominent people in our society who are practicing homosexuality, some of them are engineers, some are lawyers and some are journalists.”
At this point there were shouts of “shame” and more laughter among many parliamentarians, including the vice president himself.
“If you have information about such people, report them to the law enforcement agencies. There are also some people who are bisexual and they marry to cover up their activities, but at the end of the day we know them,” said vice president Kunda as the laughter increased in the house.
More Anglican Dischord in Africa
February 4th, 2008
That portion of the Anglican Church known as the Global South and consisting primarily of Africa and Asia is where there is the greatest resistance to welcoming gay persons as equal members in the body of the Church. Bishops from Africa have led a revolt against the Archbishop of Canterbury and issued ultimatums to the Episcopal Church (the US branch of Anglicanism) about ordination of gay bishops.
Some have even usurped the authority of the American church and have set themselves up as overseeing bishops for those American dioceses for whom opposing gay inclusion is a more basic tenat of their faith than is unity in the body of Christ.
However, in the midst of Africa is a province that supports the international body, the Central Africa Province comprising Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This loyalty did not sit well with a bishop in Zimbabwe. Nolbert Kunonga is vehemently opposed to gay persons and did not believe his Province was adequately homophobic. Not surprisingly, he is an ally of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who has made statements claiming gay people are worse than dogs or pigs and threatening prosecution of religious leaders who disagree with him on same-sex couples.
Kunonga announced in December that he was breaking away from his province. He has been replaced by Sebastian Bakare.
However Kunonga did not readily accept Bakare’s appointment.
But Kunonga and his followers barricaded themselves in the cathedral.
When two representatives of Bakare went to the building and tried to gain access they were badly beaten.
With Mugabe’s support, it seems unlikely that Kunonga will readily recognize Bukare’s authority. And I fear that violence will continue.