Saboi Imboela – SI
AFTER MAKING HOMOPHOBIC REMARKS, CHELLAH TUKUTA IS SENT TO BRAZIL- THE HOME OF THE BIGGEST GAY PRIDE PARADE IN THE WORLD
When I saw Chellah Tukuta make homophobic remarks in relation to the Lusaka July event, I knew that his days at statehouse were numbered. But little did I know that it would happen so fast and with the appointing authority or fate having the last laugh.
Chellah Tukuta has worked as President Hakainde Hichilema’s official photographer from the time the Zambian president won elections in August 2021, last year. Some of his pictures have been controversial and some people have called for his dismissal, but all that fell on deaf ears. Then he makes one remark about gay people and off he goes to Brazil, home of the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade- the biggest Pride Parade in the world.
Chellah is going as a third Secretary to Brazil, so his posting is certainly a demotion and not a promotion. And in politics, the closer you are to the President, the more influential your job is. That is why a Presidential aide can be more powerful than a minister because of the proximity to the President.
To put this new Tukuta posting in clear perspective, São Paulo Gay Pride, officially known as La Parada do Orgulho GLBT de São Paulo, is an annual pride celebration that colors the city streets in June every year. The São Paulo Gay Pride first started in 1997, with about 2,000 participants and is now the biggest Pride Parade in the world. It attracts an estimated 3 to 5 million participants each year.
Other than the Pride Parade, there are a range of LGBTQ-related activities and events which take place during São Paulo Gay Pride. While the official schedule runs for 5 days, activities start happening in the city 3 weeks before the final weekend. These include concerts, fairs, dance performances, street markets and queer-related debates and plays.
So it may be coincidence or someone trying to teach our brother a lesson, but I am very sure that by the time his tour of duty ends, Tukuta would have changed his mind on what he feels about LGBTQ issues. And just in case this lesson is not clear enough, he should be reminded that the same way he was demoted for his last comments, he may lose his job entirely if he does the same where he is going. So, many people may not see or say it as it is, but from a sister to a brother, I hope Chellah understands the environment he is working in and that he avoids certain debates that will cost him his job moving forward.