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Zambia warns against anti-gay protest during Harris visit

Government has warned of increased security during the visit by Kamala Harris

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

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

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

Some 50 opposition MPs have claimed, without evidence, that the event was 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 the summit is not disrupted by protests.

Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu has said that the authorities would 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 we 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 termed as falsehoods claims that his government supported gay rights.

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

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