Zambia leader denies gay rights talks during US trip

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has denied holding talks on gay rights during his trip to the United Nations general assembly in New York.

Same-sex relationships are outlawed in Zambia, where British colonial-era laws on homosexuality still apply.

President Hichilema made the remarks on Thursday during a televised press briefing in the capital, Lusaka, after he was challenged to clarify on his itinerary during the trip.

“We did not go there to talk about lesbian rights. We did not go for that. This is a point I want to make emphatically,” he is quoted as saying by Zambia Daily Mail.

He added that the Zambian Constitution was clear on issues of gay and lesbian rights, the Lusaka Times site reports.

The US recalled its ambassador to Zambia in December 2019 amid a diplomatic row after he criticised the imprisonment of a gay couple.

The Zambian government accused him of trying to dictate policy.

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