Excerpt from Ambassador Foote’s statement:
The Foreign Minister accused me of interfering with Zambia’s internal affairs, as he has done each time any foreign diplomat accredited to Zambia offers an opinion different to that of the current Zambian government, and of “questioning the Zambian constitution.” I just re-read Zambia’s entire constitution, which I believe is an admirable document, and there is no reference to “having sex against the order of nature,” or of homosexuality for that matter. Your constitution does declare, however, to uphold “a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion; the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person;” to “respect the diversity of the different communities of Zambia;” and to “promote and protect the rights and freedoms of a person.” It is up to Zambian citizens and the courts to decide if your laws correspond to your constitution, but your constitution itself provides every person the right to freedom and expression of conscience and belief. I expressed my belief about a law and a harsh sentencing I don’t agree with. I didn’t interfere in internal affairs.
I have consistently pledged that it’s not my place to tell Zambia what to do, but that I would always be honest and frank. The exceptional yearly assistance from American to Zambian citizens, and the constitution of Zambia, should enable all of us to express our opinions without acrimonious accusations or actions. I hope the government of Zambia commits to improve its decaying relationship with the United States, but that is a decision for it to make.
If you think that foreign nationals were not paying attention on how the president talks about our diplomats, local media now report notes that “Zambian President Edgar Lungu rebuked the Ambassador and his remarks, saying his authorities will complain to the Trump administration.”
— The Zambian Observer (@ZambianObserver) December 3, 2019
"I will be unable to attend tomorrow’s AIDS Day events because of threats made against me, via various media, over my comments on the harsh sentencing of homosexuals."
U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Foote | U.S. Embassy in Zambia https://t.co/pAYWBqq0Ju
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) December 3, 2019
U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote on prison time for 2 gay men: “I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no one, to 15 years imprisonment for ‘crimes against the order of nature.'" https://t.co/qFp4BhdkCL
— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) December 2, 2019
Zambia’ s High Court recently passed a 15 year jail term to two men for engaging in sexual relations “against the order of nature”. The move was criticised by the U.S Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote who said he was ‘horrified’ by the ‘oppressive’ rulinghttps://t.co/bNesTEOwVE
— This Is Africa (@ThisIsAfricaTIA) December 5, 2019
— Lusaka Times (@lusakatimes) December 1, 2019