Police have confirmed that six people including human rights activist Laura Miti and singer Pilate were arrested this afternoon after they staged a demonstrations outside Parliament over the procurement of the fire trucks.
Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo confirmed that Ms Miti and five others arrested and that they will soon be charged.
Ms Katongo said Ms Miti aged 52 of PHI in Lusaka who is Director of Alliance for Community Action was arrested alongside Mika Mwambazi aged 30 of NRDC.
Others arrested are a freelance consultant, male Sean Tembo aged 37 of Lusaka’s Avondale who is Party President for Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), Fumba Chama also known as Pilato aged 33 of Kansenshi in Ndola, Lewis Mwape aged 44 of Balastone Villa who is Executive Director for Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) and Male Bonwell Mwewa aged 43 of PHI in Lusaka.
She said the six are detained in custody and will soon be charged.
And the Alliance for Community Action, the organizers of the demonstrations have confirmed that the arrested ring leaders are in high spirits.
“This afternoon, our colleagues were apprehended and arrested for demanding answers over the 42 fire tenders that cost US$42 million at Parliament. After much search, we found that the males are being held at Emmasdale Police while 2 females, Laura Miti and a colleague are are being held at Garden Police Post. They are well and still in high spirit,” said Alliance Advocacy Officer Jimmy Maliseni.
“In a functioning democracy, no one should and would be arrested for demanding answers from those entrusted with governing our resources. Again we ask, if this is not dictatorship, what is?”
Mr Maliseni said even after fully complying with the Public Order Act, citizens were denied the opportunity and their right to protest peacefully.
He said Police gave the excuse of inadequate manpower but had enough manpower to stop the protest and arrest the protesters.
“Even with the arrests, we will continue to demand answers and accountability. We stand with our colleagues and our fellow citizens arrested this afternoon.”