THEY want our men to marry each other, it may not be too long before the American government asks every African to walk naked in the streets as a condition for giving us aid.
There are times when one feels that being black on this earth is a very great sin; for what can one say when an ambassador of one nation tells another country that we will not give you aid because you are imprisoning gay people.
The recent statement by United States of America ambassador to Zambia Daniel Lewis Foote is a blatant disrespect for the cultural norms of our country.
No Zambian or let alone the most highly placed African diplomat can go to America and ask the United States of America government to pass a law forcing all American men to pay bride price. The Americans will dismiss such a wonderful proposal as sheer madness.
Why then should the Americans be using arm twisting tactics to force Zambia to legalise a practice which is against the country’s cultural norms?
It is shameful to hear that the United States of America may withhold its aid to Zambia because of the imprisonment of two gay people by a Zambian court.
On the other hand, the same American ambassador and his British counterpart cannot ask British Petroleum to respect the rights of 240 Zambians. Even human rights have preferences! If this is the way world affairs are going to be conducted, then there is not much hope for future coexistence of rich and poor nations.
The statement by Mr. Foote can only be interpreted as a tacit move as part of a strategy to squeeze Zambia for other hidden motives. In Bemba we call it “akasamuna nkunge” (you have planned something and you are just waiting for an excuse to action the plan).
At any rate, what value does American aid add to Zambia? A few three-year contract jobs for two or three people. I worked on the Netmark project which was sponsored by the USAID to promote the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets.
Netmark was a US$65.0 million project, less than US$5.0 million was used in Africa, the rest was paid to American experts and service providers.
There are many similar American-funded projects such as Planned Parenthood, Society for Family Health which promoted condoms and then fizzled out after a few years of gathering information about our sexual behaviour.
A colleague pointed out yesterday that all the American projects are for research purposes. The multiplicity of American projects which do not add any value to our country does raise a lot of suspicions.
It is very unfortunate that the Americans want to force a foreign culture in our land. Our culture respects sexual relationships between individuals.
The sexual habits of a person are not for public display and our beliefs are that sexual activity takes place in total privacy and marriage is between a man and a woman.
What the American ambassador is forgetting is that even in America, the position of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) is subject to a lot of debate and counter arguments.
The Trump administration has been accused of attacking LGBT rights in healthcare, employment, housing, education, commerce, the military, prisons and sports.
As a result, President Trump was accused of lying when he pledged support for LGBT people all over the world during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Rights advocates in the United States have accused Trump’s administration of doing very little in support of LGBT people after it banned transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, cut funding for HIV and AIDS research and supported the right of medical providers and adoption agencies to deny services to LGBT people.
“Donald Trump’s words at the U.N. do not just ring hollow – they are an unadulterated lie. His administration has done nothing to protect LGBTQ people at home or abroad,” said Zeke Stokes of the U.S. gay rights group GLAAD in an email.
If this is the position in the United States, why such a reaction to the jailing of two gays in Zambia?
And then think of the statements by the UPND on gay rights in Zambia; what can one determine, is it a conspiracy to raise tensions in our country?
I would like to tell Ambassador Foote that the era where black people were sold like oxen and cows, the era where black people were hanged for smiling is gone.
To the Zambians and all black peoples of the world, let us make it a duty to defend our blackness; and by this I am not just referring to our colour, but all our cultures, our way of life and our humanity.
For 300 years, the “civilised” white people traded other human beings as lifeless merchandise. They even created a special auction day and called it “Black Friday.” Over the years, they have rebranded Black Friday as a commercial venture of consumerism to gather more money from the blacks and we joyfully part with our hard-earned incomes to white businesses. In the meantime, they want you to walk naked before they can give you their aid. I believe Africa can do without western aid.