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Hichilema trashes gay rights talk

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Zambia’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has strongly refuted media reports that he gave an interview to international news agencies where he declared his support for gay rights.

and Hichilema has hinted that he may take legal action against state broadcaster ZNBC and some individuals publishing allegations that he supports gay rights.

Recently, an article purportedly authored by one Jackie Hweu of the AFP and AP news agencies quoting Hichilema was circulated by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) through its social media platforms, after which President Edgar Lungu, government spokesperson Dora Siliya, PF media director Sunday Chanda and a host of PF surrogates lined up to issue strong statements denouncing the UPND leader’s alleged support for the LGBTQ community.

Both the AFP and AP news agencies have since disowned the fake story.

We are streaming live from our Party Secretariat in Lusaka as we address the media on various national issues. Tell us where you are watching us from.

Posted by Hakainde Hichilema on Friday, September 27, 2019

At a media briefing at the UPND Secretariat in Lusaka today, Hichilema categorically stated that he does not support same sex relationships and marriage, saying “I don’t believe God was wrong to create man and woman, male and female”.

The UPND chief stressed that “I do not support same sex relationships. I will never support it. It is part of my personal value systems, in my genetic material, in my psyche, in my philosophical way of seeing things, I do not agree to same sex relationships. I don’t know what others think (about gay rights) and I respect their views but that’s my position.”

Hichilema charged that it was embarrassing for President Lungu and some senior government leaders to get excited and start issuing statements based on false media reports.

“To imagine that someone supposedly occupying the highest office of the land and with all the security apparatus at his disposal is duped to believe and respond to fake news, is a matter that is deeply troubling and should be a source of great concern to all citizens. How many more fake reports has he taken for the gospel truth and wrongly arrived at a bad decision that subsequently negatively affect all Zambians. No wonder the country is in reverse gear.”

He pointed a finger at a clique within the PF made-up of former MMD members who used the same propaganda against then opposition leader Michael Sata prior to the 2011 general elections.

“It’s not a coincidence that Dora Siliya and Sunday Chanda used this same talk against President Michael Sata, which they are now using against me now that they are in the PF. It goes to show that these people are sick, they are sick in the head,” Hichilema said, adding “But they have shot at the wrong target now.”

Meanwhile, Hichilema has acknowledged that he attended a meeting in Italy last week but that it had nothing to do with gay rights rather it was for purposes of reviewing an upcoming book titled ‘Can Africa Become The Next Asia’?

“Nothing concerning gay rights was ever discussed at that meeting,” stated Hichilema.

Zambia goes to the polls in 2021 to elect a new President when the term of office for President Edgar Lungu ends in August.

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