YALI condemns Police crackdown of opposition parties

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Teargas canisters thrown by Police
Teargas canisters thrown by Police to disrupt an MMD meeting

Police Brutality against MMD and Opposition parties is a reflection of a persisting colonial mentality in Zambia Police

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is greatly disappointed at reports of a violent attack at the Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD) in Eastern province by the Zambia Police in an attempt to disrupt the MMD’s party mobilisation meetings in the province and calls for the Police Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja to resign.

This violent attack by the police against unarmed citizens who express their fundamental political rights is extremely saddening because it comes at a time when President Lungu was swearing in the Inspector General and new Provincial Police Commissioners, urging them to treat all persons equally and fairly under law. What we saw in Eastern province was police brutality and intolerance and this calls for the Police Inspector General to immediately resign as it appears that he is not in control of his men and women in uniform.

The Zambia Police must avoid playing double standards on the way they want to enforce the law and they must understand that violations of people’s fundamental rights such as the right to freedom of Assembly, movement and expression is shedding a bad light about Zambia’s leadership on the international scene.

President Lungu as the Commander in Chief must actually be worried and disappointed to note that while his own wife, our First Lady Mrs. Esther Lungu and PF officials are continuing to hold campaign meetings on his behalf without being subjected to this inhuman treatment by the Zambia Police, his competitors such as MMD leader Pastor Nevers Mumba, UPND leader Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, Rainbow Party leader Mr. Wynter Kabimba and other opposition officials, are daily being brutalised by the police.

It is not enough for the President to urge his police command to administer the Public Order Act fairly and justly; it his duty to ensure that the police actually do so, and where they clearly fail to follow the law, we expect President Lungu, as custodian of the Constitution, to act immediately to safeguard the constitutional rights of the opposition, not just the ruling party.

The President must immediately relieve the Inspector General of Police for failing to protect Zambians and assure citizens that their rights will not be trampled upon by overzealous police officers.

We wish to remind PF leaders to learn a lesson from the MMD leaders who failed to do their duty to protect the rights of all Zambians and looked the other way when the Police Force used violence against political opponents.

Zambians have been yearning for clean and competitive politics in which all political parties play on a level playing field..

At the rate at which the Zambia Police Force are brutalising the opposition, we don’t see the Police contributing to free, fair and peaceful elections in 2016. This kind of selective enforcement of the law may move the opposition to take the law in their own hands and police their own meetings against the primitive Zambia Police Force.

If the Zambia Police are committed to fair play in the 2016 elections, they must do some introspection of their conduct which is not building trust among stakeholders. Certainly, the Inspector General and his top command are ensuring their own summary dismissal, should the opposition win in 2016.

Isaac Mwanza
Governance Advisor
Young African Leaders Initiative

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I love your level headedness Isaac Mwanza. You seem to be stirring YALI while it’s supposed to be in our governance system. You have spoken about these matters without fear or favour maybe this is why govt pays attention to what you guys with Nthewewe says. You deserve an award for the different stance u ve taken on various matters. Never shaken. Obama must be happy with u guys

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  2. Where are UK,USA High Commisioners and other represantives residing in Zambia? Please enough is enough of PF brutality on innocent and an armless citizens. We are living in fear as though we are in Zimbabwe and yet we were among the first in Africa to have genuine prular politics. PF cadres and PF ZP beat people with impunity.
    Time will tell and its very near.

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    • Why are you crying for foreigners to come & save you/us??????? We kicked them out by getting our independence – IT MEANS WE HAVE TO SORT OUT OUR OWN CRAP!!! IT starts with how we VOTE!!! PF needs to go, PERIOD!! ONLY PARTY CURRENTLY WITH MOMENTUM TO DO SO IS UPND!! The biggest mistake is people trying to question the decision to vote UPND – That is when YOU, ME & EVERYONE ELSE WILL LOSE IT – as obviously, the other parties DON’T HAVE THAT MOMENTUM – so voting for them is simply a WASTE of a vote & time & ANOTHER 4 years!!!
      If we do get UPND in, the worst they can do is fail to perform – we can vote them out at next election – WE SHOULD LEARN HOW TO MAKE OUR VOTES COUNT, it will change how these “Turn-coat” politicians behave, once they know people will vote for the opposition having…

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    • @Jack Mulenga
      Why should foreign envoys comment on the happenings in a sovereign country? Do our ambassadors etc comment when citizens in the US etc are killed?
      It is a colonial hangover to ask them to intervene in Zambia!

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  3. Zambians never cease to amaze me, you will complain about the Zambia Police for god knows when…your lack of critical thinking is your very downfall. Lazy Lungu maybe a bad lawyer but he does know the powers the Police have under Public Order Act that’s the very reason he appointed that IG….these Political Parties are busy crying about police brutality when these guys are doing their job to the letter; the issue here is Governance…complaining about it will not get them anywhere. They need to be united, organized and lobby for the removal of these colonial laws.

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  4. Can the opposition parties just for once follow the rules of POA. That way they will have a leg to stand on should there be any violations by the police. Right now it is hard for any one to be sympathetic to them. As for PF officials we are not sure maybe they do actually follow the rules of POA so YALI maybe biased by issuing a statement without facts.

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    • If they did only it will be only PF holding meetings and Ester Lungu flying around in ZAF aircrafts to opposition strongholds handing out gifts from State House.

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  5. It is my prayers for the President to resign. There are a lot of facts that Zambians are worse off than before since he moved into power. Please people on the blog regardless of your political affiliation for the sake of peace- It is time we ask the President to step down. At this rate, next years elections may end up in blood shade – We really do not want this to happen to Zambia.

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  6. Every well meaning Zambian should write a protest email to all western and Japanese, Chinese embassies in lusaka condemning their silence at the brutality of this PF regime. Our country is decending into one ruled by mobs of hooligans.

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    • Since when have Chinese involved themselves in internal governance issues of other nations (or even the Japanese since WWII)…when the selfsame donors urge you to re-look at your laws regarding human rights of gays you say they are interfering and that you are a Christian Nation whatever that means. All these laws should have been top priority to get rid of… but you only complain about it when there are elections around the corner after that its back to sleep and drinking mosi.

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    • @ Patric

      Instead of picking on JJ, recognize limitation of your solution.
      Chinese do not care S*IT about Zambian democracy or lack of it. As a matter of record, they treat their own population 10 times worst. If anything, they are “de facto” new colonial power.
      Japan, well they can withdraw grants and funding, UK, EU and US – maybe. But then, did you consider legal implication for Zambian Citizen asking for intervention of Foreign State in to internal affairs of another State?

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  7. We are a docile lot and the wrong kind of laid back. If you want to see people ‘up in arms’ load shed the Brewers…

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  8. Its the Boss mentality as well. These people forget that they work for us because a lot us behave as if they are our masters, ati Boma Ni Boma and such like. From the president, Inspector General and the constable and all civil servants they work for us. We pay them to look after all of us. How I wish people especially cadres could understand this. Its my money they are using to buy teargas and harass Nevers and his friends. It pisses me off. Wish I could just withhold my taxes and buy castle lager instead.

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  9. Jack Mulenga you’re wrong even here in UK or USA such do happen on a deferent level which you don’t know only those who leave with them will notice as I do! Teba malaika benga tulubula iyo…? Only you yourselves can.

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  10. Tayali,
    sir, you are not telling the truth to the Zambians. You, blaming the police for the brutality on opposition is a misplaced judgment, based on shielding facts and expressing biasness of the highest level so that the origin of criminality can not be stopped and known by the people out there.
    Tell people that what they are witnessing is the stance adopted by the PF. The PF has cadrelised the police force as can be seen by the appointment of police provincial commissioners by the president. These commissioner are made to behave like cadres and can be fired at will for doing the correct thing.
    MR.Tayali understand the issue at hand before you blame the police. your statement is confusing and irrelevant to any reasonable and well meaning Zambian like yourself.

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