Zambia LGBT Laws

Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 24 April 2015, Judge Judy Mulongoti in the High Court in Lusaka upheld the decision of Magistrate Ng’ambi and acquitted Paul Kasonkomona saying he was exercising his freedom of expression. On 07 April 2013, Kasonkomona was arrested for idle and disorderly conduct and charged with being in a public place and soliciting for immoral purposes, after he appeared on Muvi TV during which he called for the protection of the rights of people practicing homosexuality. On 25 February 2014, Magistrate Ng’ambi acquitted Kasonkomona, finding that the prosecution had failed to establish the case beyond reasonable doubt [C1.3], [R1.2].

On 26 August 2013, High Court Judge Anne Sharpe Phiri in Lusaka ruled that the trial of Paul Kasonkomona should commence in the subordinate court in a matter in which the gay rights activist is facing an offence of idle and disorderly conduct by soliciting for immoral purposes in advocating for homosexual rights to be respected in Zambia during ‘The Assignment’ programme on Muvi Television, there being no contravention of fundamental rights under Article 20 of the Constitution [R1.1].

C1.3 Case: Paul Kasonkomona v. Attorney General 2013/HP/1120, 15 MAY 15
R1.2 ZambiaDailyMail: High court upholds Kasonkomona’s acquittal 16 MAY 15
R1.1 Xtra!: High court rules activist’s free-speech rights weren’t violated 15 SEP 13
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

Consensual sex between same-sex male couples is unlawful. Consensual sex between same-sex female couples is lawful [R1.2].

The Penal Code Act (amended 1995)

Section 155 (As amended by No. 26 of 1933) Unnatural offences

“Any person who

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature; is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”

Section 156 (As amended by No. 26 of 1933) Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in the last preceding section is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Section 158 (As amended by No. 26 of 1933) Indecent practices between males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.”

On 16 April 2018, it was reported that the Zambian government had rejected recommendations to recognise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) relations from Honduras, France, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Argentina and Uruguay [R1.1].


2. Courts & Tribunals

On 09 August 2018, it was reported that Japhet Chataba, 38, a carpenter, and resident of Ndeke compound in Kapiri Mposhi, and Stephen Sambo, 30, who is a planning officer at Ndola City Council were found guilty by the Kapiri Mposhi District Court of having had ”carnal knowledge against the order of nature” under section 155 (a) of the penal code [R2.7].

On 31 October 2015, it was reported that Magistrate Derrick Mate Chingumbe in the Mongu District court convicted Hatch Bril (27) of alledgedly permitting a 19-year-old taxi driver to have carnal knowledge of him against the order of nature. Bril was dressed and appeared like a woman on the material day, meeting the teenager in a bar on 24 September. The teenager filed a complaint against Bril who has been committed to the High Court for sentencing and faces up to 15 years imprisonment [R2.6].

On 03 July 2014, Kabwe Principle Resident Magistrate John Mbuzi acquitted detainees Philip Mubiana and James Mwape of charges of violating the Zambian law against homosexual activity, ruling that the prosecution had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The pair had been in custody since 05 May 2013 [R2.5].

On 24 June 2014, magistrate in charge Ackson Mumba reportedly said that Kabwe Principal Resident Magistrate John Mbuzi was indisposed and had indicated that he would be ready to deliver his judgment on July 10 this year [R2.4].

On 22 June 2014, Kabwe principal resident magistrate John Mbuzi was reported to have indicated that his judgment in the James Mwape and Philip Mubian case would be delivered on 23 June 2014. The defendants have been in custody since April 2013 [R2.3].

On 15 August 2013, Harrison Jere and Jackson Musonda were reportedly arrested after having been caught having consensual sex in the Lusaka house in which they were living. They were being held in prison pending trial on 29 August [R2.2].

On 07 May 2013, Zambian police were reported to have arrested James Mwape (20) and Philip Mubiana (21) from the northern town of Kapiri Mposhi under tough new anti-gay laws (quaere). The men are said to have been living together for some time and have been charged with the offence of sodomy or having sex against the order of nature contrary to the laws of Zambia [R2.1].

R1.2 ILGA: Zambia (Accessed 25 APR 10)
R1.1 LusakaTimes: Zambian government rejected recommendations to recognise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex relations 16 APR 18
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.7 GayTimes: Two men convicted of gay sex in Zambia after forced anal examinations 09 AUG 18
R2.6 ZambiaDailyMail: Fake woman convicted of sodomy ZM 31 OCT
R2.5 Erasing76Crimes: Zambia frees 2 allegedly gay men after year in prison 03 JUL 14
R2.4 O-blog-dee-o-blog-da: Case Against Zambians Accused of Homosexuality Postponed Yet Again 25 JUN 14
R2.3 Zambia Daily Mail: Gay case verdict on tomorrow 22 JUN 14
R2.2 GayStarNews: Two men arrested for gay sex in Zambia 15 AUG 13
R2.1 Mail & Guardian: Gay couple arrested in Zambia under new law 07 MAY 13
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In February 2010, the National Constitutional Conference adopted a clause that prohibits marriage between people of the same sex

Article 47(3) of the proposed constitution provided for marriage between two people of the opposite sex who are above the age of 18 years, however on 18 February 2010 clause 5 was added to article 47 to enforce that, “marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited” [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: Zambia’s New Constitution Forbids Same Sex Marriage 08 MAR 10