Z AMBIA will not impose gay rights on its citizens in exchange for financial assistance from some countries. President Edgar Lungu says there are certain rights which are enjoyed in some parts of the world which may not be accepted by Zambians.
“Some cultural differences have proved that some of the rights enjoyed in some countries cannot be applied elsewhere such as in Zambia,” he said. The head of State was speaking at State House yesterday when outgoing Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Henrik Cederin paid a courtesy call on him. Mr Lungu assured Mr Cederin that Zambia will continue cooperating with the Swedish government for assistance in areas like gender equality. President Lungu said Government will do its best to ensure that qualified people are appointed to positions of leadership, including women.
“This calls for skills training, providing opportunities to the girl-child and protecting them from early marriages and pregnancies,” he said. And Mr Cederin thanked President Lungu for always being available to meet him over the last four years he has served as Swedish Ambassador to Zambia. Mr Cederin commended the head of State for his efforts to improve the quality of life for Zambians through sexual reproductive health education.
During his stay in Zambia, Mr Cederin said he dealt with two major cases of corruption. They involved misapplication of funds at the Zambia National Farmers’ Union and the social cash transfer abuse. He further commended President Lungu for having taken a clear stance on dealing with corruption cases.
Mr Cederin said President Lungu has always encouraged cooperating partners to follow corruption investigations until they are concluded. He said corruption is detrimental to the country’s economy and politics. President Lungu has also appealed to cooperating partners to continue supporting Zambia in its fight against corruption.
The President said stakeholders who may have evidence of corrupt activities should assist Government by presenting proof of the vice to law enforcement agencies. “It is unfortunate that there are baseless allegations that the Zambian government is corrupt,” Mr Lungu said. President Lungu made the remarks when he met outgoing European Union (EU) head of delegation Alessandro Mariani. The head of State said the EU is Zambia’s partner in governance issues and can, therefore, help Zambia build capacity of law enforcement agencies and enlighten the public on procedures of reporting corruption cases.
President Lungu said his government means well in its service provision to citizens and interactions with cooperating partners. “I enjoy close relations with the two [diplomats]. It is sad to bid farewell to them as they end their tour of duty,” he said. In response, Mr Mariani said he enjoyed close relations with President Lungu and his government during the four years he has been in Zambia.