MEETINGS ARE NOT THE PRESERVE OF THE PF
Comments from the Northern Province Police Commissioner Bonny Kapeso this week reveal the extent to which widespread abuse of the Public Order Act is fast becoming a routine feature in our politics. Thanks to the PF our peace, unity and future as a democracy is now also starting to fail, as our economy has done under their leadership.
The Commissioner’s claims that only the PF can hold meetings without notice contravenes the rights and freedoms we are all entitled to in our own country. That we should not be able to move, meet and share our message with others, while the PF flies from place to place at the taxpayers expense, is unacceptable. And what is even more shocking about this statement is that he is saying the PF is above the law.
We would like to remind Mr Kapeso that the police are there for the protection of all Zambians, regardless of affiliation, and that the values of the Zambian Police supposedly include impartiality, human rights, integrity and professionalism. They are the Zambian Police Service, not the PF Police Service.
That they respond to peaceful meetings with violence and aggression is another crime. There is no justice for anyone outside of the PF. Anyone would think that we are now living under a dictatorship.
All this points to the fact that the PF is running scared. Having abused their power for so long they have forgotten how a democracy really works and that the Zambian people will judge them on the track record come 11 August 2016. With less than 6 months to go until elections we advise them to refocus on this. The Zambian people will not reward them for this intimidation and disruption of the peace.
Finally, it is important to remember these actions do not only harm the immediate victims, but that this manner of governance harms us all by undermining our development prospects. At the very time when we must be uniting and seeking stability in every way we can to tackle our economic challenges with shared strength, the POA and its abuse by the PF is dragging us down. We want to challenge President Lungu to immediately take action against this senior officer who clearly does not understand what he is doing. If no action is taken, it goes without saying that these actions will then be said to have the blessing of President Lungu.
UPND Chairperson for Media