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Gay Rights Activists’ Lobby Sparks Controversy in Zambian Parliament

In a recent workshop convened at Legacy Resort in Lusaka, a coalition of gay rights activists stirred up a storm of controversy as they lobbied members of the Zambian Parliament to decriminalize homosexuality.

Led by Hon. Joseph Munsanje, MP for Mbabla Constituency, and Hon. Princess Kasune, MP for Keembe Constituency, the workshop aimed to garner support for legislative changes concerning sexual and reproductive health rights.

However, the workshop quickly became the center of heated debate as it was revealed that its primary agenda was the decriminalization of homosexuality in Zambia, where same-sex relationships are currently illegal.

Many members of Parliament, uncomfortable with the topic and its potential implications, chose to exit the three-day workshop despite the attractive financial incentives offered.

Criticism was leveled against the Parliamentary Caucus on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, with several MPs accusing the group of being co-opted by external donors to advance LGBTQI rights under the guise of promoting sexual and reproductive health.

Concerns were raised regarding the perceived agenda of international cooperating partners, who were accused of exerting undue influence on the legislative process.

“We cannot allow our national policies and laws to be dictated by external interests,” remarked one dissenting MP, highlighting a growing sentiment among lawmakers who view the workshop as an attempt to undermine Zambia’s sovereignty.

The MPs involved in the workshop have pledged to escalate their concerns to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nelly Mutti, signaling a potential showdown within the legislative body over the issue.

It’s noteworthy that the National Assembly of Zambia has been engaged in the implementation of the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), HIV and AIDS, and Governance Project since 2019.

However, the recent events have cast doubt on the integrity of the project, with accusations of mission creep and external interference.

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