By Venus N Msyani
It would be better if Home Affairs Minister Jack Mwiimbu retracted the warning on the planned protest during the AU summit in Lusaka.
President Hakainde Hichilema promised that by shouting Bally youth will be getting employment. For the past ten months youth have been shouting Bally. Very few have been employed.
The rest are being told to be patient. While waiting some have resorted into self-employment through mobile money business. Instead of appreciating, the government seem to be against the idea. Mobile money business booths are being removed from the city in the name of keep Lusaka clean for the upcoming AU summit.
It has angered affected mobile money operators and their sympathizers. They are planning a peaceful protest during the African Union (AU) summit, which has just commenced in Lusaka. To pass message to visitors who are in the country for the summit that Zambian government has no heart for its people.
Few days ago, Jack Mwiimbu warned that anyone who will be found protesting will be delt with. According to Mr. Mwiimbu, the government is aware of some unscrupulous individuals and their supporters that want to take advantage of the AU conference to carry out illegalities.
Peaceful protest is welcome in every democracy and that is what people are planning to do. Mr. Mwiimbu should be warning of violence.
If peaceful protests were illegal, they would not be allowed near the United Nations Headquarters. When heads of state and government gather at the United Nation in New York for the General Assembly, the UN surrounding is greeted with various peaceful protests.
It should not be a problem for the AU summit in Lusaka to be greeted the same. The United Party for National Development (UPND) administration is missing a point.
A year ago, Zambians were not allowed to protest. They conducted protests in the bush. Because of that, it shouldn’t be hard for Mwiimbu and his team to realize that protest will work in favor of UPND.
New dawn administration is claiming to have restored freedom of expression, which most of us believe is not true. Allowing protest during events such as AU summit, would prove that indeed freedom of expression has been restored in the country.
It would be better if Hon. Jack Mwiimbu retracted the warning on the planned protest.