A cross section of stakeholders in the Copperbelt province have condemned the planned demonstration by some political parties and non-governmental organizations during the hosting of the African Union mid-year coordinating summit.
Kitwe Pastors Fellowship Chairperson Reverend Raddy Lewila told ZANIS that Zambians should avoid anything that will disrupt the successful hosting of the summit.
Pastor Lewila said any disruption of peace in the country will depict a bad picture which can affect the country economically but rather urged politicians to address their issues with relative authorities internally.
“When you have internal challenges, they should be sorted out through the right channels, you do not have to wait for visitors for you to air out your grievances so to carry out demonstrations at a time when the country is hosting a high-profile continental meeting, will make the country appear like it is failing to solve its own problems
thereby giving a bad impression to the visitors and embarrassing the whole country, as the church we feel this is not the right time for anyone to demonstrate over any internal issues,” he said.
And Anti-Voter Apathy Programme (AVAP) Copperbelt Coordinator Poster Jumbe said the country does not have any urgent matters to warrant holding of protests when the country is hosting an important event which can be used to market the country as a potential investment destination.
He has since urged local entrepreneurs to position themselves on how they can benefit from the summit through their businesses.
“There is nothing urgent for us to say we need to demonstrate now, there are no such issues, if there is any issue then we should engage relevant authorities contrary to street protests,” he said.
In addition, Democracy, Governance and Human Rights Advocacy (DEGHA) coordinator Gerald Mutelo acknowledged that it is a wrong time for any group of people to conduct protests against internal matters as the country will be hosting the summit. Mr. Mutelo said this is time to market Zambia to the visitors instead of bringing out internal squabbles.
“Yes, people have the right to protest but this is not time for sorting political scores, Zambians should be thinking about how they can market the country to the visitors as an excellent investment
destination where their investment will be safe,” Mr. Mutelo said.
Home Affairs and Internal security Minister Jack Mwiimbu recently issued a warning to organizations or individuals planning to engage in illegal protests during the African Union Mid-Year Summit which will be hosted by Zambia from July, 14-17 of this month.
As long as the protests are peaceful, let them protest. A government with a strong mandate should not fear its own citizens, even when we have guests. In fact, we should be the one exceptional example of a country in Africa that manages its affairs the same, guests or no guests.
And those other African leaders may learn a thing or two on how to treat fellow citizens, if we claim to be a democracy. No need to cover up our difficulties and challenges, just because we have a bunch of mostly despots coming to visit.
Let’s be honest with ourselves and the world.
Pentecostal pastors kuwayawayafye
Also the government should not wait for things like the AU summit to remove mobile money booths. Why only mobile money booths if other businesses like shops ran by Rwandans are still operational. There is a lot of trading going on around Kulima Tower for example. Why target only a particular business.
Why should shops being run by Rwandans be removed?
Anyone who wants to do a protest can do it now. Why wait for AU summit? Those waiting for summit have a hidden agenda
People have a right to protest so they should be allowed under a democratic government. If anything it will prove to visiting African leaders that zambia is now a true democracy.
Let them protest at kk conference center during the au summit. I submit pungwa one
If it’s a pressing issue, then why wait for AU summit?
Advisor… that’s when the protests will carry weight.
There’s nothing special about AU. It’s a club that protects dictatorship. No one will mention how evil Museveni is. It’s a toothless bull dog.
Who are stakeholders here in this story?
Comments are closed.