When visiting Zambia this week, US Vice President Kamala Harris has been advised to refrain from advocating for gay rights by former Lusaka Province Bowman Lusambo.
Mr. Lusambo claimed that Mrs. Harris runs the risk of being detained if she advocates for gay rights in Zambia because doing so is illegal.
Mr. Lusambo said the US Vice President should respect Zambia’s position on the matter in a statement welcoming Mrs. Harris to Zambia.
He has also urged President Hakainde Hichilema to use Mrs. Harris’s trip to Zambia as an opportunity to make clear the position of the new deal administration on gay rights.
“ We further wish to challenge President Hichilema as he holds talks with Vice President Harris at State House to look her in the eye and without any hesitation, tell her to her face that Zambia will never accept same sex relationships. That is the greatest leadership test we are throwing at President Hichilema and if he fails this test, he would failed the current and future generations of Zambians,” part of the statement read.
Below is Mr Lusambo’s full statement
Kamala Harris welcome but…
In our African culture, we are taught to welcome all visitors. It is from this premise that we welcome the visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris to Zambia. We hope her handlers have included a brief stop in Livingstone for her to see our beautiful Mosi-O-Tunya Falls and a drive through Mpongwe, our home village to show her how our hard working people growth our food.
We also wish to use this opportunity to raise a few concerns over the new tide that Washington-Lusaka relations are taking. Under President Hichilema, it is clear to see that Zambia is on a crusade to over-please the West at the expense of other nations with whom we have a long standing relations.
Zambia now finds itself in a very precarious position in the geopolitical landscape which has now affected relations with other countries and the all important debt restructuring programme.
As Vice President Harris visits Lusaka, we wish to remind her and her host President Hichilema that Zambia shall at all times maintain its non aligned position on key global issues. Since 1964, we have ostensibly implemented this policy position and has served the country well. The mistake that President Hichilema and his Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo made when they voted to condemn Russia at the UN summit shall never be repeated. It was foolhardy and should never happen again. Zambia has always been a friend of all nations including China and just for Mrs Harris’s own information, the modern airport she will land was built by the Chinese, the good road network she will be driven on from the airport to her hotel room was constructed by China and the conference room she will speak from was a gift from China.
We wish to also explicitly tell Vice President Harris that Zambia shall not be a pawn in the US’s fights with China and Russia. We will at all times protect our sovereign interests as a nation and as a people.
On the issue of propagating same sex relationships under the guise of human rights promotion, we wish to refer her to our Republican Constitution which clearly stipulates that we are a Christian nation and Christian principles abhors such acts. Vice President Harris must be reminded that same sex relationships might be accepted in the US but in Zambia, such acts will never be allowed. As dynamic as culture can be, there are some boundaries that cannot be crossed. We have accepted a lot of US influences such as language, fashion, music and democracy over the years but we will never adopt same sex relationships. We wish to ask her to accept our position the same way the US has been forced to accept the recent decision by the Ugandan Parliament over same sex relations. Further, Vice President Harris should be informed that she risks being arrested if she promotes gay rights whilst in Zambia like she did in Ghana as it is a criminal offence to promote unnatural acts in our beautiful nation.
We further wish to challenge President Hichilema as he holds talks with Vice President Harris at State House to look her in the eye and without any hesitation, tell her to her face that Zambia will never accept same sex relationships. That is the greatest leadership test we are throwing at President Hichilema and if he fails this test, he would failed the current and future generations of Zambians.