resident Hakainde Hichilema in a group photo with other eminent and distinguished personalities attending a meeting organised by the Brenhurst Foundation at Lake Como, Italy to discuss Africa’s economic trajectory under a theme, “Can Africa be the Next Asia?”

By Mwanza and Kalunga

Over the past few days, the public has been treated to some information – whether true or not – that the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, attended a meeting in the resort town of Lake Como in Italy of the Africa Liberal Network (ALN), an organisation which promotes liberal values, including homosexuality. The meeting is said to have taken place under the auspices of the South African-based Brenthurst Foundation.

What we know about the Brenthurst Foundation
The Brenthurst Foundation was set up by the Oppenheimer family who have made their fortune exploiting Southern Africa’s rich mineral wealth from South Africa itself through to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Brenthurst Foundation styles itself as an organisation that promotes African economic development and “progress”, a rather thin veil for its agenda to change Africa through interfering in the political affairs of African countries by promoting so-called liberal political parties.

Those who have read the opinions of its Director, one Greg Mills, will see from the tone of his articles that he or the Brenthurst Foundation seem to believe that he has some duty to “help Africans” change their governments by electing those who are acceptable to and would promote the Brenthurst Foundation’s agenda.

Dr. Greg Hill’s piece on the 2016 Zambian Presidential election ends with an astonishing claim that the international community – more accurately put, Western countries – should consider actively intervening in African countries if the outcome of an election is not to their liking or more succinctly, if their preferred presidential candidate is not elected, apparently in an election where the margin is sufficiently narrow to ignite controversy by the losing candidate claiming electoral fraud or some other imaginary electoral malfeasance.

The arrogance of Mr. Mills’ article is astonishing but not surprising because in all elections in which Brenthurst Foundation-backed candidates have lost, those elections have attracted wide-spread attention in the Western media which have labelled the elections as “flawed”, “controversial”, “disputed” etc. and have been followed by loud calls for “unity governments”, intended to put Brenthurst Foundation-supported candidates in the resulting government.

These attempts to place selected but unelected persons into government by threats of “international action” have been rejected in recent times as the people of the countries in question, have become more and more aware of these efforts to infiltrate unelected persons into elected government by subterfuge on the part of the Western governments and their surrogates, such as the aforementioned Brenthurst Foundation.

What we know about the African Liberal Network
Back to Zambia and the story surrounding the UPND President, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema. Following some news – manufactured or not – of Mr. Hichilema’s attendance at the Lake Como meeting arranged by Brenthurst Foundation, it is also said that the meeting was attended by the Africa Liberal Network, an organisation to which the UPND is a member. The Africa Liberal Network’s core mission is, inter alia, “promoting liberalism including minority rights.”

In its true context, minority rights is a veiled reference to “promoting gay rights.” Obviously, the ALN is aware of the increasing hostility of the African population towards political parties or any movement or organisation which promotes homosexuality and its attendant “gay rights;” the Network has therefore wisely chosen not to be so brazen and blatant in their advocacy and now has now chosen to disguise gay rights under the more generic cover of “minority rights”.

The Africa Liberal Network, under the rather thin cover of promoting minority rights, is much better known for promoting homosexuality, or so-called “gay or LGBTQ rights.” One may ask what all this has to do with our main Opposition Party and its leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema.

Well, Mr. Hichilema has a prominent presence at the Brenthurst Foundation which, incidentally, is chaired by former Nigerian President, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, (Rtd). Of more immediate interest is the fact that Mr. Hichilema’s party, the UPND, is a member of the Africa Liberal Network which has a close partnership with the Brenthurst Foundation and the two are working together in promoting so-called minority which, as earlier stated, is just a non-explicit name for homosexual or gay rights.

The Africa Liberal network has a policy to promote liberalism and minority and homosexual rights, and “to capacitate its member parties to win elections in order to implement the liberal agenda.” UPND as a member party of ALN is, therefore, bound by these ALN policies as categorically stated on the Network’s web site. The meeting which Mr. Hichilema is said to have attended, was said to have been attended by the ALN, whose eminent work in promoting homosexuality or so-called gay rights is well known.

When some social media article appeared which allegedly Mr. Hichilema had stated that his Party would enshrine gay rights in the constitution when it comes to power, there was consternation in Zambia, especially among the Christian groups who were outraged that Zambia, which is a declared Christian nation, should even contemplate legislating gay rights.

President Lungu, attending the UN General Assembly in New York at the time, weighed in on the issue, calling upon Zambians not to be swayed and reaffirming that his government would uphold the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation and would not allow alien or foreign values to dilute Zambian and Christian values.

In the usual fashion, local news outlets jumped into the fray largely on the anti-gay side. Mr. Hichilema, for his part, issued a rather muted denial of the alleged news report attributing to him as having uttered the words alleged. Mr. Hichilema said he was unmoved by “PF propaganda” and that as a Christian, he does not support “unbiblical things.” UPND Party Spokesperson, Charles Kakoma, also issued a statement which, interestingly, seemed to deny the fact that Mr. Hichilema had travelled out of the country at all.

Mr. Kakoma’s denial was countered by a strong statement, on social media, by the former UPND Vice President for Politics, Dr. Canisius Banda, in which he categorically stated that Mr. Hichilema had indeed travelled to Lake Como in Italy to attend the Brenthurst Foundation-organised meeting which was also attended by the Africa Liberal Network. Dr. Banda challenged Mr. Kakoma, the UPND Spokesperson, to inspect Mr. Hichilema’s passport to confirm whether or not he had travelled to Italy.

A very loud silence then followed, during which nothing more was said about this trip to Italy by the UPND leader. This continued until one day or so ago, when suddenly, the News Diggers Newspaper jumped into the fray and re-opened the discussion with an editorial attacking the Republican President’s office, which we commonly refer to as State House, for “lying about the UPND’s ties to the Africa Liberal Network and its homosexual agenda.

News Diggers accused State House of having spread a false story about UPND’s ties to “those promoting homosexuality”, a reference to the Africa Liberal Network. Interestingly, News Diggers does not deny the fact that Mr Hichilema had travelled to Italy to attend a meeting which was also attended by the ALN.

More importantly, there is no denial even from News Diggers that UPND is a member party of the Africa Liberal Network whose outspoken advocacy of homosexuality, or so-called gay rights, is its most prominent feature. The Africa Liberal Network makes no secret of its agenda to support for its member political parties to take over government for the purpose of implementing its so-called liberal policies.

It is interesting that News Diggers have chosen to attack the President, or State House, for his remarks on Government’s policy towards so-called gay rights. There is nothing sinister about the President in guiding the nation over his government’s policies, even if it is related to the on-going discussion on UPND’s association with a network that promotes homosexuality under the broad but thin cover of liberal values.

The UPND is a member of the African Liberal Network, an Alliance of 47 political parties whose core agenda is to promote liberal values such including homosexuality, a key component of minority rights. According to the ALN, its Alliance partners, including the UPND are bound by the ALN Constitution which states that “they (parties) exist to ensure religious, gender and minority rights are recognised,” among other things.

So what type of minority rights have these 47 parties, including the UPND, have been fighting for to ensure recognition in African Countries? The African Liberal Network, constituting 47 members who include UPND, celebrated the granting of homosexuality rights in Botswana by way of the Botswana High Court’s decision in a matter which was moved by gay rights activists. In Nigeria, this Network of 47 political parties protested against the passing of a law prohibiting same-sex marriage and threatened to take the Federal Government of Nigeria to the United Nations to have the Nigerian Federal government declared by the UN as being in violation of human rights.

One wonders, then, how it can be denied that the UPND, which is a member of this Network and is bound by its Constitution, does not subscribes to these values which include homosexuality or so-called gay rights when the same are implemented jointly by the ALN. The UPND voluntarily joined the African Liberal Network knowing exactly what the Network stands for, including its homosexuality agenda, and voluntarily accepted to be bound by the Network’s constitution and its policies.

Cape Verde has, by far, been hailed to be the most accepting country in Africa when it comes to homosexuality based on a 2016 survey which was conducted and showed 74% of the residents welcoming the idea of having homosexuality. Those who propagate liberal values such as the ALN, feel aggrieved that “the legislation on homosexuality in Ghana which was introduced in the 1860s remains an unpleasant stain on the country’s liberal record” but said many liberal activists in Ghana are still pushing for a change to the country’s laws.

Namibia, has also been singled out as a country that is “taking a progressively more liberal stance issues of homosexuality” with Lesotho said to be the nation mostly known as liberal and peaceful where same-sex relationships have never been against the law and male same-sex activities were legalised in 2012.

The other countries that have been recognised by these champions as liberal countries are South Africa which allows same-sex marriage as part of the liberal agenda to promote minority rights and Mozambique where the liberal advocates are hoping changes will be made to laws on sexual preferences.

These examples, above, should not leave any doubt as to what these advocates of liberal democracy champion in their promotion of minority rights. The UPND is a member of the Africa Liberal Network whose track-record and agenda to fight for these liberal values.

Conclusion
Instead of the UPND attempting to deflect the facts and to deny its choices, it should accept that the citizens of this country, including the President, have a right to demand straight answers when they demand to know what the UPND’s policy is on any particular subject. In this case, Zambians want a straight answer to the question of the UPND’s stance or position, on homosexuality and so-called gay rights in light of the fact that is a part of the Network that work to entrench these rights.

Zambians cannot be expected to sit idle and accept lame denials when the activities of the UPND, by its association with Africa Liberal Network, points clearly to an agenda which will lead to the introduction of so-called gay rights if or when UPND forms government. That is what the mission statement of African Liberal Network states in clear terms, that is, its Alliance members inclusive of the UPND, are bound to implement the policies of ALN.

UPND must simply come out and explain its liberal agenda vis-à-vis the Africa Liberal Network of which they are a member. The ALN has clearly shown its agenda of promoting homosexuality in African countries. There is no need for denial: The UPND is part of the liberal network promoting these liberal values which include so-called gay rights under the guise of minority rights.

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