Hichilema, Harris disappoint PF


Hichilema, Harris disappoint PF

THE Patriotic Front was yesterday left disppointed after President Hakainde Hichilema and visiting US Vice-President Kamala Harris’ press briefing left out the former ruling party’s favourite topic of discussion – gay rights.

The presser ‘failed’ to reawake PF supporters’ obsession with the topic of LGBTQ, by discussing progressive things like Zambia’s huge debt portfolio, climate crisis, democracy and economic recovery.

While PF leaders and supporters spent the entire week excitedly insinuating that Vice-President Harris was coming to Zambia to publicly demand that the Zambian government allow gays and lesbians to enjoy their rights, the two leaders spoke about other issues at their joint press briefing on the grounds of State House.

Despite President Hichilema’s emphasis that his government will not allow such a thing, PF leaders and cadres alike remain in overdrive with unrivalled obsession and dedication on the topic of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ).

Repeated clarifications by the President that homosexuality has no room in Zambia continue to be ignored by those in the PF who have continued showing unwavering fixation on discussing the topic of LGBTQ.

In his opening remarks, President Hichilema said Zambia is proud of her relationship with the USA.

“We are proud about our relationship – the US – Zambia relationship, anchored on a number of common values, beliefs, constitutionalism, rule of law, protection of human beings. We value that!” President Hichilema said.

“We also value the bilateral relationships that we have. We have a long history of friendship since our independence.”

He also indicated his gratitude that Zambia was chosen to co-host the just-ended second summit for democracy.

President Hichilema further said Zambia has a clear focus on what she wants to do.

“We were elected on a platform of delivering a functioning economy – re-constructing the economy is our critical agenda. We know [that] when we do that, we will be able to take care of the needs of our people,” President Hichilema said.

“What is keeping us down for now, Vice-President, is the debt overhang. We carry a debt burden that really is making it difficult for us to continue with our re-structuring process of the economy. It is actually beginning to negate on the gains we have already made, such as in the foreign exchange market.”

He said the earlier Zambia’s debt burden is dealt with, the better.

“We ask for your support, as always, and the support of others, to deal with that. We know [that] when we unlock the debt, more investments will come. We know that when more investments come, we will create jobs for our young people,” he said.

“As an African country, our population is young and we have to take care of them. Not just [with] jobs but business opportunities as well. We are keen to invest in our people skills…”

Meanwhile, President Hichilema stressed that Zambia will continue to uphold the principles of good governance, including waging an anti-corruption crusade

“We are happy to fly the flag on our continent of being a democratic country, by choice, not by persuasion by America or by anyone. We came from a system that did not deliver for us. Before you persuade us, we will be running the road of democracy, because we believe in that,” said President Hichilema.

“We are very pleased to know that your own priorities, your own support, historical support to us – American people to Zambian people – is well appreciated. We appreciate that historical and ongoing support.”

For Vice-President Harris, she believes Zambia has embarked on an ambitious democratic reform agenda under President Hichilema.

“Democracy and good governance around the world is the priority for the United States and we will always stand with those who are fighting for those principles,” said Vice-President Harris.

“To that end, I’m pleased to announce more than $16 million for new programmes in Zambia, including a focus on anti-corruption and other reform efforts.”



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