Harris In Africa: Zambia Warns Against Anti-Gay Protest

Zambia's government has warned the opposition against holding anti-gay rights protests during US Vice-President Kamala Harris’s visit to the country.

Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) party plans to hold protests ahead of the democracy summit being hosted in the capital, Lusaka.

Ms Harris will arrive in the southern African country on Friday and is scheduled to make an address at the summit - which is jointly being hosted by Zambia, the US, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and South Korea.

Some 50 opposition MPs have claimed, without evidence, that the event is part of an agenda to impose gay rights on Zambians.

Amnesty International Zambia has called on the government to take a strong stand in support of LGBTQ rights and to ensure that protests do not disrupt the summit.

Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu said the authorities will not allow lawlessness during the summit.

President Hakainde Hichilema has called for calm and dialogue in response to the threats of protests.

“We understand the concerns of the PF and other stakeholders and are committed to engaging in constructive dialogue to address these issues,” President Hichilema said.

Earlier this month Mr Hichilema pledged to uphold Zambia’s laws that criminalise homosexuality.

He said it was a falsehood to say his government supported gay rights.

Ms Harris is due to visit Tanzania on Wednesday before heading to Zambia on Friday.