The Civil Society Constitution Agenda is concerned with the spirit of intolerance and selective tolerance in the enjoyment of political rights in the political sphere currently prevailing in the country.
Organisation Chairperson Bishop John Maambo says the trumpets of warnings being sounded by the Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo against opposition members who have interest to show solidarity to their leader being summoned at Ndola Police station tomorrow for interrogation is an affront to the thriving of healthy multiparty democracy in the country.
Bishop Maambo said this is so because barely a week after, Mr. Kampyongo remained mute at demonstration staged and organised by ruling party sympathisers against the Opposition leader, the police and himself are now threatening counter solidarity march for the opposition leader.
“Where is freedom of expression for all citizens in Zambia if only a few sympathetic to the party in power are expressly allowed to demonstrate by the Police and the Minister? Where is the separation of roles if the minister can be in the forefront of violating the right of citizens to express themselves? To whom will the aggrieved go to complain against the violation of their right to expression if the Minister who is last line of defence of freedoms is already taking a stance?”, Bishop Maambo questioned.
Bishop Maambo said his Organisation does therefore not support the summoning and the consequent pending interrogation of the UPND leader over the ZAFFICO sale because this action by police and government has potential to undermine the relative peace, unity and harmony currently prevailing in the country.
“If the UPND leader lied in his statements about ZAFFICO sale as claimed by the government, the right thing the government should do is to seek legal action against him rather than using the police to intimidate, harass and violate citizens’ rights and freedoms to expression and solidarity. The police have a responsibility to protect all citizens, regardless of political affiliation”, Bishop Maambo lamented.
He has since condemned the police actions to revive old political wounds which have potential to undermine the pending national dialogue and reconciliation.
Bishop Maambo has encouraged those who would want to offer solidarity to the UPND leader to do so without fear or favour as doing so peacefully is their democratic right and freedom as enshrined in the Zambian constitution.