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America must keep its hands off Africa – CSOs

A consortium of civil society organisations has charged that there cannot be meaningful discussions about democracy at the 2nd Summit if delegates cannot discuss the threat the United States is bringing to the sovereignty of the African States.

Advocacy for National Development and Democracy, Center for Constitution and Leadership Studies and Zambians for Unity, Peace and Development has said the US Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act which has been passed is taking away undermining the sovereignty or African nations and the democratic choices to make decisions on trade relations between Africa and Russia.

Speaking on behalf the 3 organisations during a press briefing in Lusaka this morning, ANDD Executive Director, said it was sad that the conveners of the Summit have trivialised democracy to elections than the bigger issues which needed discussion.

Mr Banda said one of the reasons why our leaders here in Zambia and other African countries are failing to approach Russia and China to get deals that would reduce the cost of fuel and essential commodes is because they are afraid about being punished by America using its new law.

“If our leaders had courage, they would have approached Russia to import cheaper fuel which would reduce the cost of fuel in Zambia from the current K29 to about K19 per litre. Zambia would not be struggling with fertiliser because like Zimbabwe and Malawi which got 20,000 tonnes of free fertiliser each from Russia, our farmers would have also accessed free fertiliser. Why are our leaders afraid of approaching Russia?” He questioned.

The 3 organisations said the issue of homosexuality has been a subject of unfortunate happening in Zambia which must be brought to an end with this Summit.

“We are happy with the position taken by Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on issues of LGBTQ but his message need to be said to Vice President straight and clear that Zambians are not and will never be ready to import these alien vices of homosexuality.”
They have since asked the United States of America to respect Zambia’s cultural and traditional heritage and avoid pushing an agenda on LGBTQ that offends society’s moral values and principles.

The Summit for Democracy will take place in Zambia on 29-30 March 2023 with most opposition leaders and civil society organisations which are critical to government left put.