Less than a year ago, South African dancer Zodwa Wabantu was deported from Zambia. Last month, the country’s national guidance and religious affairs minister, Reverend Godfridah Sumaili, has banned South African TV presenter Somizi Mhlongo from attending an event in the country.

It is reported that the minister decided to cancel the Lusaka July organisers’ decision to invite Somizi to their event this weekend because of his sexual orientation. Sumaili claimed that Zambia was a Christian nation and added that allowing a gay man into the country would spoil the citizens’ morals.

Somizi revealed that he felt sad for the LGBTIQ community living in that country. Moreover, he called the minister’s statement absurd and said she should have been preaching love and acceptance instead.

“Oppressing people for their sexual orientation won’t change them,” he added.

The event organizer, Chishimba Nyambe, said at a press conference in Zambia that Somizi had been invited to the event in his capacity as a fashion icon.

She confirmed that his invitation to the event had been reversed, after a discussion with other stakeholders.

“When the presence of an individual has the potential to disrupt peace it bothers us… Our number one priority is to put the people first and to make sure that we do not disrupt national values, as the ministry has put it,” she added.

Sumaili told the media that the government would not give the permission to event organisers to invite people with “questionable characters that might undermine the morals of the land”.

“In Zambia we do not condone gayism or homosexuality and this is a crime. Inviting people with such means that we are slowly accepting this vice. We must guard against such foreign influences as they pose a risk of disturbing our social fibre as a Christian nation.”

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