U.S. recalls its ambassador to Zambia after gay rights row
United states has decided to recall its ambassador to Zambia, Daniel Footer following a diplomatic row that ensued after he criticised the imprisonment of a gay couple.
Washington said it was difficult for him to work in Zambia if his hosts did not want him.
Foote who said he was “horrified” that the men were handed a 15-year jail sentence after being caught having sex in 2017, was declared persona non grata and also accused of trying to dictate policy by President Edgar Lungu.
Home Affairs Minister, Stephen Kampyongo told Hot FM radio;
“The dos and don’ts for those who represent nations in other nations are very clear. So if one crosses the line, it’s not about bilateral relations between the two countries. They (Washington) listened to the complaint”.
“The U.S. cannot be paying a salary to someone who cannot work because the hosts don’t want him,” a second U.S. embassy source said.
Reuters heard from a US embassy source that “since Lungu says he does not want to work with Foote, there was no point of him remaining. Also don’t forget that there are security issues so Washington want their man back.”
Zambia’s high court last month jailed the male gay couple for 15 years for engaging in sexual relations “against the order of nature”, a decision the U.S. ambassador said was horrifying.