The row erupts after a top US diplomat said the sentencing of two men to 15 years in prison for homosexuality was “horrifying”.
Zambia’s president said that his government will officially complain to the United States over remarks its ambassador made after a homosexual couple were jailed for 15 years.
Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba were sentenced in the capital, Lusaka, by a high court judge on Wednesday for “crimes against the order of nature” – Zambia’s legal term for gay sex.
Responding to the decision, the US ambassador to Zambia, Daniel Foote, said in a statement: “I was personally horrified to read about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt absolutely no one.”
In an interview, Zambian President Edgar Lungu warned of a breakdown in relations between Zambia and the US unless President Donald Trump took action.
He also insisted that nothing would change his mind on homosexuality.
He said: “We are saying no to homosexuality. Why should we say we are going to be civilised if we allow it, are you saying that we’re very primitive now because we’re frowning on homosexuality?
“Even animals don’t do it, so why should we be forced to do it?. because we want to be seen to be smart, civilised and advanced and so on.”