Patriotic Front members of parliament have gone in overdrive disseminating information that the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has signed treaties with foreign organizations that support the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) minorities.
These PF members are warning Zambians that if they make the mistake of voting the UPND into power, the party will enact laws that will allow men to marry men and women to marry their fellow women in the country. Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND support homosexuality, claims the Patriotic Front.
“Madam Speaker, the UPND is a member of the Africa Liberal Network. To be a member of this group the secretary general of the party has to sign. These sister political parties; number one, they say they are bound together. Number two, they say they are of a like mind. So, those liberal parties are being supported to grow, to increase their influence on politics to implement their liberal policies when in government. Madam Speaker, we shall not allow people to come by night and want to introduce liberal values wanting to promote males sleeping with males and females having sex with females,” said Kanchibiya PF member of parliament Dr Martin Malama.
This campaign against the UPND has been well supported by almost all PF members of parliament and Cabinet Ministers, including those who were staunch MMD members before the 2011 general election which Michael Sata won. And this is the part which we find awkward and ironic.
To imagine that MMD ministers who went round the country in 2011, warning voters that Sata was going to bring gay rights to Zambia, would be the same ministers using the PF platform to now declare the ruling party as righteous and the UPND an evil advocate of homosexuality is very laughable. People need to have shame.
Zambia has seen this campaign before. This is the message that the MMD of Honourable Dora Siliya wanted to be re-elected on in 2011. They circulated a recorded voice of Michael Sata talking to some foreign donors where he was saying “these rights are already there, what we need is to implement them.” In fact, this recording was doctored to suit the MMD campaign agenda.
We remember that one beautiful MMD minister from Petauke asked the men in her campaign audience in 2011 to admire her round breasts and not each other’s beards because the laws of Zambia prohibited homosexuality. She urged the men to reject Sata’s homosexual agenda by voting MMD so that they would continue enjoying the pleasure of touching a woman’s soft bums. But the voters ignored this malicious campaign and shocked the MMD. Today, these people are using the same technique on UPND. This is really ironic.
But we are not here to launder the UPND. We do not think that it is enough for the opposition party to simply ride on Michael Sata’s successful rebuttal of the homosexual narrative, and pretend like they haven’t done nothing questionable. The UPND membership to the Africa Liberal Network must be explained for all Zambians to understand.
The first question that the UPND must answer is: are they really members of the Africa Liberal Network? If so, what is the party’s position on gay rights, which this network fully supports and seeks to implement? What is the UPND’s benefit for belonging to this network? What common values do they share and how will these benefit Zambia?
We are asking these questions because our independent research has shown that, indeed, the Africa Liberal Network exists and boasts of being the biggest African political affiliation group. On the Network’s website, which can be accessed on the link: https://www.africaliberalnetwork.org/category/aln-statements/page/3/ , we found information that the UPND is a full-time member and on the same page, there is a statement that declares and recognizes LGBT rights.
Now, the UPND needs to come out clean and be categorical on this issue. As president of the party, Mr Hakainde Hichilema must care to explain his association with these foreign organizations. Does he, as an individual, have any problems with gay people? If so, let it be known so that the Africa Liberal Network secretariat can be aware that their Zambian member doesn’t agree with the support for homosexuality.
By the way, did the UPND know what the Africa Liberal Network’s stance is on gay rights before joining or they only discovered later on? It seems out there, the UPND has taken some silent support for these rights, but here in Zambia, they are uncomfortable to state their categorical position.
UPND must not walk a middle path. There are plenty of Zambians who actually say “let the gay people be”, because it is a fact that there a many homosexual people in this country, some of whom work in government. The only problem is that the law in Zambia does not allow homosexuality. It is a crime for people of the same sex to have carnal knowledge of each other. That’s the law!
What does the UPND feel about this law? If they win the next election, will they seek to protect the rights of the minority gay people in Zambia or they will maintain the law as it is? This has to be clarified by word of mouth from Mr Hichilema himself so that all the citizens of this country can know for sure and make informed decisions.
While we encourage Honourable Siliya and some PF ministers to shut up because they have no moral right to point any fingers at the UPND on this topic, the opposition party has a moral obligation of setting the record straight. Ino mulijisi chakwaamba aisha?