Tempers flared in parliament on Wednesday when Kanchibiya PF member of parliament Martin Malama moved a private member’s motion seeking Parliament’s support to ban political parties and organisations that support Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender rights in Zambia, citing the opposition UPND.
In the heat of Malama’s submission, members of parliament from both sides were heard hurling unpleasantries at one another, shouting “idiot!” “foolish!” “fuseke!”, among other words, after the former Inspector General of police alleged that the UPND is among 30 political parties that are affiliated to the African Liberal Network, an organisation which supports gay rights.
“Even the grand children would not allow any member of the Africa Liberal Network, even the leader of the opposition knows that they can’t allow that. When you go to Southern Province, Chief Mukuni would not allow. I don’t think he can allow someone who says he is promoting a male sleeping with a male, a female sleeping with a female. I don’t think he would allow having sex [with someone of the same sex]. Let me go to my cousins in Eastern Province, Paramount chiefs Gawa and Mpezeni, I don’t think they will allow. And the chiefs there, they can’t allow. Madam Speaker allow me to be able to talk about these sister political parties. These sister political parties, number one, they say they are bound together. Number two, they say they are of a like mind. A like mind! And here in Zambia, it is the UPND. It is here! It is here!” Malama exclaimed as leader of the opposition Jack Mwiimbu attempted to interject with on the point of order.
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala, however, asked Mwimbu to take his seat, called for order in the House and allowed Malama to continue with his debate.
“Madam Speaker, let me lay this (document) on the table in case they think that I am cheating or lying. Madam, to join this maybe someone would be able to say how did they join, to join this in those documents I have put, the leader of a party should sign, the secretary general should sign, the leader of the international relations should [sign]. Now I can expect a responsible political party to be very serious about these issues. You can’t even sit and say ‘oh’, when there is that evidence. Such a political party must be ashamed! That party must be ashamed to want to bring this country to ridicule,” Malama continued, amidst jeers from opposition counterparts.
“Madam speaker, let me be able to state that when you talk about issues that are affecting this country, it is very important. I have risked my life many times for the defence and the security of this country, and we shall not allow people to come by night and want to introduce liberal values, allowing, wanting to promote males sleeping with males, we can’t allow that. Any male person whether in public or private acts any gross of indecency with another male person or procures another male person to commit gross indecency with him or attempts to procure the commission of any such act of any male person with himself or any other male person whether in public or private is guilty of the felony and liable to imprisonment for five years. Those are our laws, Madam Speaker.”
Malama insisted that the organisation which the UPND subscribed to supported gay rights, and as such the party must be brought to book.
“Madam Speaker, if I spare the rod, I will spoil a child. We can’t avoid this frank discourse. Let me be able to tell you about one organisation, it is called the Africa Liberty (Liberal) Network. I know many decent people in this country don’t know about it. I don’t even know it! But I have the information I will lay it on the table for any one who wants to jerk forward and backwards. The preamble of the Constitution of the Africa Liberal Network says ‘whereas the African Liberal Network exists to empower liberal parties to grow their support. So those liberal parties are being supported to grow, to increase their influence on politics. So in which ever country there are, they are increasing their influence in politics in 30 countries in Africa and to implement their liberal policies when in government!” exclaimed Malama, as opposition members shouted “sebana wikute!”.
When he was finally given a chance to respond to Malama’s attacks, Mwiimbu charged that it was no wonder late president Michael Sata fired the former Inspector General of Police due to his incompetence.
“History is now repeating itself! We are aware that members on your right when President Micheal Sata was in the opposition they said he was promoting gay rights! And they went through out the country campaigning on those grounds and they have now come back on the same premise. Madam speaker, that is why when Sata become president he fired that man (Martin Malama) as inspector general of police because of his incompetence,” said Mwiimbu as Malama also attempted to interject on a point of order.
But Namugala curtailed any further debates on the matter, saying the time allocated to the motion had lapsed.
“Order in the House! Order! I am on my feet! As the time is 19:55 hours I interrupt the proceedings and the subject of debate lapses,” said Namugala.