A VISIONLESS president is bragging that Zambia can do without US aid, this is vanity of the highest order, says Paul Sensele.
Commenting on President Edgar Lungu’s reaction to Ambassador Daniel Foote over gay rights concerns, Sensele, who is NDC member of the central committee, said US sanctions could hurt every Zambian, especially those living with HIV.
“Zimbabwe is pleading for the lifting of sanctions and here we are with a visionless President, bragging that the US can withdraw aid to Zambia if they want, this isvanity at its highest order,” he said.
“The US aid mainly goes to the health sector and with the challenges being already faced by our health institutions we cannot afford the US to withdraw aid. We in NDC are not in support of gay rights because this is not our culture, but it’s how we respond to those whose culture condones gays. Simply put, one mistake does not call for another mistake, two wrongs cannot make a right,” Sensele said.
He said President Lungu had millions which ordinary people do not have.
“He (President Lungu) can afford to buy ARVs for relatives living with HIV, but can a poor woman in Chibolya or Chawama afford to buy this life aving drug? The answer is no. So I want to tell him that ‘ko lya buyo’ (just eat) don’t kill Zambians,” Sensele said.
He added that the gains made in HIV mitigation such as reducing new infections, TB and malaria control would be reversed by President Lungu’s actions.
“When one differs with a wife or neighbour, it’s better to sit down and find a solution despite having different points of view…. I once read an article written by you in The Mast that through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the US spends about US$500,000 annually to Zambia of which 90 per cent goes to the health sector…. I also advise President Lungu to come here and see how in Zimbabwe soldiers are harassing Zambians over mealie-meal. Hunger is not good, Mr President. So sit down with the US ambassador and make things straight. That is a supper power and please tell your PF cadres not to harm ambassador Foote or we will be extinct as a country,” said Sensele.
President Lungu told Sky News that if aid would come with a condition that the country tolerates gay rights then Zambians would rather scrounge for life than receive that aid.