Former diplomat Nevers Mumba is urging government through the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation to guide the nation on the laws regarding adherence to the Vienna Convention.
On Tuesday, May 17th 2022, the Swedish and Finnish embassies in Zambia flew the rainbow flag along with their own national flags on their premises which stands for the support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer And Intersex -LGBTQI- rights.
This act has received criticism from some stakeholders who have described it as a breach of the 1961 Vienna convention, and a lack due regard to the laws of Zambia and cultural sensitivity to its people.
Under article 20 of the Vienna convention, the mission is only allowed to fly the flag and emblem of their country on their premises and on the vehicle.
However, under the 1961 Vienna Convention Guiding Diplomatic Relations, diplomats are mandated to respect the law of the receiving state and it is a serious breach of the convention to break the law of the host country.
Commenting on this matter, Dr. Mumba says it is important that the ministry of foreign affairs makes it clear to Zambians as to why the two countries flew the rainbow flags and which laws and convention guided their actions in order to avoid wrong perceptions.
Zambia has not recognized LGBTQI rights and the practice of homosexuality remains a criminal offence in the country.
Efforts to get Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo on the matter proved futile as his mobile phone was switched off.