The opposition UPND has written to the Inspector General of Police to allow party members hold a peaceful walk from the Party Secretariat to the residence of their President Hakainde Hichilema.
Party Secretary General Stephen Katuka says the objective of the walk is to petition the President and his running-mate Geoffrey Mwamba to take the presidential petition case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Below is the copy of the later copied to the media.
Dear Inspector General:
We seek your office’s immediate intervention concerning our application to hold a peaceful walk from the UPND Secretariat to the residence of our Party’s President, His Excellency, Hakainde Hichilema’s, residence on Saturday the 24th of September 2016 at 14:00 hours. The route we intend to use is Burma Road.
The objective of the walk is to petition UPND President, his Excellency, Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate, Hon. Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, to take the presidential petition case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ).
We are, however, dismayed by the failure of the Police to effectively process this application despite the fact that we adhered to the preconditions and requirements by submitting the application on the 16th of September 2016. This application was addressed to the Police Commissioner, Lusaka Province.
We were later notified that the Police Commissioner only saw the application on Monday the 19th of September 2016 and hence the application couldn’t be considered because it fell out of the stipulated seven days that the police should be notified before the date of the event. We were also advised to address the application to the Police Command, Lusaka Urban and not the Police Commissioner, Lusaka province.
As per guidance, we resubmitted the application and addressed it to the Lusaka Urban Police Command. To our shock and disbelief, the Police Command told us to write to the Lusaka City Council to get permission to use their road. Instead of stamping our application letter, the Police Command just wrote their address on it. See attached.
This has left our party in a dilemma as we are shocked at the response of the Police. We are aware that the law clearly stipulates that all we need to do is inform the Police before we hold such an event and there is nowhere in the laws of the land where it states that we need to get permission from the council.
We strongly feel this is just one of the many attempts by those in authority to violate and silence the opposition and those with dissenting views in this country. We need not remind you that it’s within our rights to hold such a procession as long as we meet all the requirements of the laws of the republic of Zambia. Denying us this occasion will be a clear violation of our rights and freedoms which are evidently enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia.
It’s not a hidden secret that when the PF members want to match or demonstrate, they do it without following the due process of the law. They are free to willfully stage a protest or demonstrate without the consent of the Police. As a matter of fact, they do it so willfully giving the impression that they are above the law.
The UPND is a law abiding and peaceful party. We have had our rights subdued over the course of time and we feel this should come to a stop immediately. Zambia belongs to all of us who live in it. Public roads belong to all Zambians and it’s shocking that we have to ask for permission to use what belongs to us. We need to move away from these retrogressive cat and mouse games.
We await your positive response.
CC – His Excellency,
CC – The Media