Saturday, July 20, 2024

Open Letter to President Hakainde Hichilema

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Dear Mr. Hakainde Hichilema,

I write to you this open letter after visiting Mr. Sean E. Tembo, the leader of Patriots for Economic Progress -PEP, who as at today, Sunday 4th September 2022, has been unlawfully detained at Woodlands Police Station in Lusaka falsely accused of defaming you as President of the Republic of Zambia.

My brief chat with our brother Sean, through the bars of the cell door triggered memories of my own arrests. During one of those arrests when I was leader of an opposition political party, as you will surely recall, you spoke to me on phone. I had been arrested in Kasama on 6th January 2014 on false allegations of defaming the President, the popular “chumbu munshololwa” case. In our short conversation you made it clear to me that my arrest was a violation of my constitutional right to free expression. You unequivocally condemned the arrest and reminded me about the need to unite and work together as members of the opposition.

You made it clear that your presidency would mark the end of such violation of human rights and intimidation of people with divergent views. As you know, every Zambian knows the position you held on such arrests as Mr. Tembo’s and many others. Of-course, you too were arrested and during such arrests you reiterated your views about the abuse of power to silence opposing views.

Against this background, I wish to add my voice to those of many Zambians who are saying that the unlawful and senseless detention of Mr. Sean Enock Tembo is an indelible mark of shame on your once very promising presidency. It represents a growing notorious violation of human rights under your leadership. Moreover, it is a prominent dent on your image. This recent detention of Mr. Tembo and the many arrests of Zambians with divergent views distinguishes you as a tyrant determined to crash all opposing views in a futile attempt to create a society that sings your praises.

I know that you will with disdain say that you don’t instruct the police to arrest people but that they operate independently. Please remember that your paramount job is to protect the constitution of our country. Hence, the responsibility to safeguard our constitutional rights and freedoms including freedom of expression rests squarely on your shoulders. Therefore, you cannot wash your hands like the biblical Pilate when the police are violating human rights in Zambia. Moreover, when you and others were arrested in the past, you directed your condemnation at the President as well using the same rationale.

Mr. President, please be reminded that these senseless arrests fly in the face of your own claim of more democratic space in Zambia upon your becoming President. Therefore, heed the call to stop this abuse of power by your administration. It is time for you to shake off intolerance and begin to repair your image which has been dented by the numerous violations of the rights and freedoms of innocent Zambians under your presidency. Please don’t be misled by praise-singers around you claiming that your record remains untainted. The contrary is the reality.

Yours truly,
Frank Bwalya
Member of the National Council Management Committee
Socialist Party Zambia
LUSAKA
4th September 2022

16 COMMENTS

  1. “…….these senseless arrests fly in the face of your own claim of more democratic space in Zambia upon your becoming President…….”

    If insulting and abusing others in the name of the freedom expression is what you call democracy……….

    You are wrong…………

    You can’t go around insulting people on air waves…………..

    We all recall the unpalatable insults hurled by PF caders on our air waves during lungus presidency…………that is what you people want to call freedom if expression

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    • Let’s me sincere. Who was insulting who on Radio and Social media platforms and HH called them Freedom Fighters and today they have been rewarded with jobs.

    • Choolwe

      UPND mostly called lungu a corrupt drunkard ………..which is not far from the truth………

      On the other hand, PF caders were hurling the most crude insults of peoples mothers and fathers private parts all over social media……..

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    • “A corrupt drunkard which is not far from the truth.”
      Ha Ha ha What about a thief who took advantage of privatisation to steal Zambians’ hard earned tax. Not very far from the truth either?

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    • The beauty of freedom of speech

      That lungu was a corrupt drunkard can be proven in courts …….

      How many governments failed to prove HH stole any thing ???

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  2. We call on KOSWE………..

    The face book magazine to play back the videos of PF caders hurling unpalatable insults in bemba and nyanja against opposition…………..

    To show people what PF and the bitter clique call freedom of expression

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  3. Well written anr great reminder. But if praise singers use PF as the yard stick, the we have a useless change. We can do better.

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  4. Oh this former papa and opportunist is still alive. How many children has he produced so far.
    Funny that he is now a socialist . But without plans

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  5. Remember HH was illegally detained at Mukobeko prison you PF sack of donkey waste above? What goes around always comes around.

  6. Fatherless Bwalya never wrote foolish articles like this one when Pf thugs were insulting all of us but especially Kambwili’s mother, in Luanshya during a by election. He kept quiet when people were taken to court for defaming that Lungu, the most incompetent, corrupt, thieving and violent President Zambia will ever have in a hundred years.

  7. It is the s_t_u_p_i_d law, unfortunately. No matter who becomes President, unless he or she interferes with the Police, this will continue to happen in Zambia. It is futile to write to HH. He is not the arresting officer, he is not the judge. WE need to campaign to change this law, but not a single political party campaigned on changing these laws in 2021. Zambian voters did not ask for it. They were more concerned about hunger and employment. Meanwhile, just try not to ‘defame’ the President. Stick to matters of policy and stop being personal and you will be safe.

  8. Some laws in Zambia even contradict our own native proverbs. It is illegal to accuse a person of witchcraft under the Witchcraft Act ch 90 of 1914 of the laws of Zambia. ‘Whoever names or indicates or accuses or threatens to accuse any person as being a wizard or witch… shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding seven hundred and fifty penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding one year, or to both.’ So, to say that the one who is ungrateful is a child of a witch could be argued to be an offence. kikikikikikikiki

  9. I have read your letter word to word but I feel as opposition with can work on our critisms, yes it’s out mandate to provide checks and balances, let’s do that in conformity with the construction….

  10. If this is not persecution of the opposition then let them tell us why they have not arrested any blogger here ???. Kaizer even challenged them to go after him but No they need to kill the opposition!!!!They say that they can trace us, on the social media, so come and get us and stop frustrating the opposition when they are doing their checks. So it is not about law. Spaka and your other bloggers here do not underrate us. We are not as retarded as some you worshiping a human being.

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