Kamala Harris Refuses Comment on Trump Indictment, Then Zambia’s President Weighs In
Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on Friday that she had no comment on the indictment of former President Donald Trump–but the president of Zambia certainly did. Harris has been touring the African continent in a bid to shore up U.S. relations and hosted a press conference with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema. During the event, the duo was asked for their thoughts on the Manhattan grand jury vote.
“I am not going to comment on an ongoing criminal case as it relates to the former president,” Harris told reporters, sidestepping the question. The Biden White House has yet to offer an official statement on the unprecedented indictment of Donald Trump.
But while the Vice President was unwilling to share her thoughts, President Hichilema did not hesitate to speak up, “The indictment of President Trump, what does that mean to the rule of law?” he asked.
“Let’s remove names from your question. Let’s put what we decided we would do to govern ourselves in an orderly manner. [We] passed our constitutions — bedrock law. Then, secondary laws, other regulations create a platform or framework around which we agreed either as Americans or as Zambians to govern ourselves and so to live within those confines.”
Kamala Harris, Vice President "I am not going to comment on an ongoing criminal case as it relates to the former president.”
— The Hill (@thehill) March 31, 2023
Hichilema added that “when there’s transgression against law, it does not matter who is involved. I think that is what the rule of law means.”
“This is universal. And here, Vice President, we have a scenario now when we fight against corruption which has taken away resources from children and the sick, sometimes names are thrown into it and perceptions are created that are totally inappropriate. Because transgressions against the law, if you take what belongs to the public, you have offended the law and the name does not matter.”
Harris was visiting Zambia as the final stop in a three-nation tour of the African continent aimed at countering rising Chinese influence. The Vice President additionally traveled to Ghana and Tanzania. During her visit, she called on creditors to ease Zambia’s national debt after the nation defaulted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not all Zambians were thrilled about her visit, however.
The country’s opposition leader, Fred M’membe, criticized the United States ahead of the Vice President’s diplomatic mission.
“If you have no respect for the dignity of others if you have no respect for the sovereignty of other countries, you cannot claim to be a champion of democracy,” M’membe declared in a speech.
“A country that has killed so many of our leaders in Africa… the killers of Patrice Lumumba, those who toppled Kwame Nkrumah, those who killed Nasser, those who killed Gaddafi… today are coming to teach us about democracy.”
AMERICA BACK OFF!
America has no moral authority when it comes to lecturing Africa about democracy. That’s the stinging assessment of Zambia’s opposition leader, Fred Mnembe.
He delivered it during the visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris. And pointed to her country’s… pic.twitter.com/dp8No1jMDL
— African Stream (@african_stream) March 31, 2023
The Biden White House has yet to offer any official statement on the indictment of former President Donald Trump on Thursday. Harris’ refusal to speak on the matter in Zambia reflects the position of Joe Biden, who repeatedly told reporters he had no comment outside the White House on Friday. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre added, “look, we’re just not going to comment on any ongoing case, and I will just leave it there.”
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