Chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya says it is regrettable that American Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote has decided to go against diplomatic etiquette by continuing to issue statements on gayism despite President Edgar Lungu’s categorical position on the matter.
In a statement, Monday, Siliya stated that government simply asked that Zambia’s values and cultural beliefs be respected.
“Government notes with deep regret the statement by the United States Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote on gayism and other issues in his press briefing today. It is indeed regrettable that even after President Edgar Chagwa Lungu had made Zambia’s position on gayism clear. Ambassador Foote decided to go against diplomatic etiquette by continuing to issue a statement on the matter. This is indeed regrettable. The government and the people of Zambia have enjoyed long standing cordial relations with the people and the government of the United States of America our collaboration in many spheres among them business, education, water and sanitation, health and others has always been considered a partnership between friends,” Siliya stated.
“Any difference of opinions on any matter has always been expected to be amicably resolved including agreeing to disagree. It has always been our understanding that diplomats do not represent their capitals when they attempt to supplant people’s fundamental values and culture in countries they serve. It is our sincere hope that diplomats serving in Zambia, including Ambassador Foote, will use diplomatic channels through the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign affairs to express their opinions and position on matters of mutual interest. I wish to reiterate that the position of the government of the republic of Zambia on gayism is the position of the people of Zambia who are simply asking for their religious and cultural values to be respected.”
Siliya said the people of Zambia had never taken for granted support from the American government.
She, however, said government had maintained its position on the inclusion of the death penalty and exclusion of multiple sexual orientation between a man and a woman.
“We are all reminded that the people of Zambia have consistently made their position clear on two issues in any constitution making process; firstly the inclusion of the death penalty to be maintained, secondly, the exclusion of multiple sexual orientation between a man and a woman. It is for this reason that all successive governments have never decriminalized homosexuality in the penal code of Zambia. As such,there is clear congruence between the constitution and the laws of Zambia. It is our belief and we are confident that the people and government of the USA whose many values we share will continue to support the people of Zambia as they have always done,” stated Siliya
“The people of Zambia have never taken for granted the support from the people of USA. In commemoration of the world AIDS day on 1st December ,the people of Zambia and their government recognize in particular the support of the government and the people of the USA in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The government is also grateful for the latest report by the Millennium Challenge Account and released by the USA Embassy in Lusaka on 13th November, 2019 where they recognized Zambia’s effort in democratic rights control of corruption and investment in the people of Zambia.”