CiSCA Statement on the Possible Breach of Article 22 of the Constitution
The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) is greatly concerned with the non-arrest or censure of people declaring “No Go Areas” for fellow citizens contrary to the provisions of Article 22(1) of the Constitution of Zambia. Under this Article, all citizens of Zambia are free to move and reside anywhere in Zambia, and leave and return to Zambia freely and willingly without interference.
It is disturbing that despite this clear provision in the supreme law of the land, the Zambia Police Service have remained mute, unmoved, and unaffected by such public utterances.
Soon, the country may start witnessing political fights and violence in the so-called no-go areas for others as happened in Chingwere Cemetery in Lusaka yesterday, on 8th July 2020. The police will be overwhelmed with such incidents while hiding under the guise of “still investigating the matter” yet the instigators were left untouched and walking the streets freely.
The trend now emerging of police not touching ruling party officials breaching the law unless commanded or ordered to do so is clear display of the extent of the capture of the institution and the levels of partiality and selectivity in the application of the law. CiSCA calls on the police to be more impartial in the application of the law and arrest those that have openly declared certain areas No go areas for certain citizens in this country contrary to the law before lives are lost.
The declaration of no-go areas by some people associated with the ruling party is divisive and an Act of lawlessness and must be condemned in strongest term possible. We call on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to condemn this unconstitutional declaration of certain places as no-go areas for some citizens, as this has potential to skew the electoral playing field.
Further, some party officials and political commentators’ misunderstanding and misinterpretation of booing of elected political leadership as disrespectful instead of as a form of freedom of expression of dissatisfaction against an elected leader is extremely amazing.
Almost all presidents in Zambia, including the current one, were at some point booed by people when the people got fed up with their leadership deficiencies. It is for this reason that CiSCA finds it difficult to appreciate the hullabaloo that has associated the Monze booing of President Lungu. We also find the demands for apologies for the people of Monze to be misplaced, baseless and unfounded.
God Bless Zambia, God Bless our Nation. Thank you.
Bishop John Mambo