Former Secretary to Cabinet Dr Skechley Sacika says human beings have no control over those that end up being homosexuals because sexual orientation is a plan of God that has nothing to do with Christian beliefs.

And Dr Sacika has wondered why Zambia has continued to uphold the public morality laws, which were initiated by the British colonial regime when they themselves had abandoned such archaic laws.

Commenting on Foreign Affairs Minister Joe Malanji’s response to US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote over the gay couple that was recently jailed to 15 years for engaging in “unnatural practices”, Dr Sacika said the the Minister’s response showed how unfit he was to be Zambia’s top diplomat.

“The statement by Malanji was insensitive! It also shows how unsuitable the man is as our number one diplomat. LGBT is a reality in our country and there is no point in burying our heads in the sand. We have gay people in forced marriages from which they derive no happiness whatsoever or they are living their very lives because our society has refused their existence. No one chooses to be born gay, being born gay is God’s plan over which we humans have absolutely no control. Malanji missed the point, Ambassador Foote did not criticize our courts. Courts are there to interpret the law, the Ambassador criticized Zambian society for allowing archaic laws on public morality to still exist in its (statute) books, a society that has no regard for human rights of its minorities, that is what Ambassador Foote was criticizing,” Dr Sacika said.

And he called for the amendment of all laws relating to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues in the country.

“The laws relating to homosexual relations in Zambia were put in our penal code by the British over 80 years ago and they were based on the definition of public morality in Britain at that time. But laws that criminalize same sex relations are being discarded and the same sex marriages are being celebrated in Britain today. So, why should Zambians continue to uphold public morality laws, which the originators, the British, have abandoned? Zambia is a sovereign state, but Malanji’s reaction to the American Ambassador’s statement was unprofessional and as things stand, Malanji has created a diplomatic crisis between Zambia and the United States because I don’t see how Ambassador Foote can continue as American Ambassador to Zambia after what Malanji has done,” Dr Sacika said.

“Our government should stop being too sensitive to criticism! When Ambassadors criticize what is happening in Zambia, they do so in the hope that our government will take steps to correct the mistakes. Ambassadors are not here just to attend State functions and drink tea! They are here for constructive engagement and one way in which they can engage constructively is not make comments on what is happening in the country. Now, in the event of breakdown in communication between Zambia and the United States, it is Zambia, which will lose out there.”

Meanwhile, Dr Sacika argued that there was nothing unChristian about being gay because gay people were also children of God.

“There is a point of Christianity, which people are talking about to justify their anti-LGBT sentiments. I want to say that Christianity is a religion of love, that’s what it’s all about, ‘do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.’ Let us decriminalize and depoliticize LGBT, let us allow our gay brothers and sisters celebrate their individuality in freedom as they do in other countries. Gay people, too, are entitled to the protection of the law. South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana, which protect gay rights, are populated by normal human beings like ourselves and many of them are Christians. Why do we want to make ourselves different and so special? This is what I don’t understand. The issues of gay rights have got nothing to do with belief in God because gay people are also children of God,” said Dr Sacika.