Police in Zambia have launched a nationwide hunt for a couple who are suspected of being lesbians, based on online photos of them posing together.
Under Zambian law, people convicted of same-sex intimacy can be imprisoned for 15 years to life. Women convicted of “gross indecency” can be imprisoned for seven to 14 years.
But Zambian police are acting as though mere sexual attraction among women, rather than sexual intimacy, is a criminal offense. They also are acting as though online rumors are a valid basis for a nationwide appeal for help tracking down two women.
As a result of the police presumptions, today (Tuesday, Jan. 30) Zambian media reported:
Female gay couple face arrest
Police in Lusaka are looking for a gay lesbian couple identified as Kachana and Grace Tembo.
The couple have been flaunting their relationship and intimate pictures on social media.
Homosexuality is an offence in Zambia under indecent and laws prohibiting unnatural acts. …
Police launch investigations into the case of two Zambian Lesbians
The Zambia Police Service says officers are looking for the two ladies whose pictures went viral on social media alongside a story purporting that they are in an intimate relationship.
In a statement, Tuesday, Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo asked anyone with relevant information which could lead to the arrest of the two ladies to come forward.
Police spokesperson Ester Katongo … says Police officers from the Cybercrime unit have since instituted investigations in the matter involving the two girls.
She has appealed to people with information that may be helpful in the investigations to report to any nearest Police Station so that perpetrators are brought to book.
This is the Zambia police statement:
LUSAKA, 30TH JANUARY, 2018 – There is a picture trending on social media where two girls are reported to have been in an intimate relationship.
In Zambia, it is an offence for people of the same sex to engage in an intimate relationship or sexual affair .
Section158 subsection 1 and 2 of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia addresses Indescent Practices between Persons of same sex. Section 158 (2) states that ” Any female who, whether in public or private , commits any act of gross indecency with a female child or person , or procures a female child or person to commit any act of gross indecency with her , or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any female person with herself or another female child or person whether in public or private, commits a felony.”
Any person convicted of this offence is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and a maximum sentence of fourteen years.
Further, section 155 (a) of the Penal Code under Unnatural Offences, criminalises canal knowledge against the order of nature and anyone found guilty is liable to imprisonment for a term not less than fifteen years while the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
I wish to state that Police Officers have taken keen interest in the story and pictures circulating in which two girls are reported to have been having an intimate relashionship. Officers from Cybercrime unit have instituted investigations in the matter. We therefore call upon people with information that may be helpful in the investigations to report to any nearest Police Station so that perpetrators are brought to book.
— ESTHER MWAATA KATONGO, ZAMBIA POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
- Zambia’s growing intolerance towards LGBTI persons (
- 9 months in Zambian prison on gay charges; no bail (January 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Zambia report: Police arrest married gay couple (May 6, 2013)
- Zambian pair’s sentence could be 14 years for gay sex (June 10, 2013)
- Zambia: Sister and police testify against gay pair (June 11, 2013)
- ‘Our lives are in danger’ – new threats to Zambian activists (Oct. 24, 2013)
- In Zambia, ‘trial by ambush’ in anti-gay case (Oct. 28, 2013)
- No bail; 6 months in Zambian prison on gay charges (Nov. 9, 2013)
- 8 months in Zambian prison on gay charges; no bail (Jan. 23, 2014)
- Zambia: Police raid suspected gays without warrants (76crimes.com)
- Trial nearly over for opponent of Zambian anti-gay law (76crimes.com)