THE Yellow Card protest means that not everything from those in power can be tolerated, says Linda Kasonde.
Kasonde says the PF government wants to hijack what Zambians said in the constitutional review process leading to the 2016 amendments.
On Saturday, hundreds of people clad in yellow gathered at the entrance to Parliament grounds in Lusaka to protest against government corruption, injustice, and misappropriation of national resources.
Kasonde, who is Chapter One Foundation executive director, said Zambians want a corruption free government that would meet their basic needs.
In an interview, the former LAZ president said despite being rich in natural resources, Zambia was one of most unequal countries in the world.
“This is not about any particular party, it is the people of Zambia expressing their power and telling people who are in power whoever that may be that there is only so much that they can tolerate. We, as the people, need to be free of debts, free of corruption. We need good health, we need good education, we need good sanitation. These are basic needs that are not even met under the current government,” she said.
Kasonde said Zambians should get concerned with the pace at which the gap between the rich and poor was widening.
She said the national cake must be shared equally.
“We don’t know who will come but it is the same message that we will apply to them. We want a Zambia where everybody prospers; the youth, the elderly people. We want the future where they can prosper because our country is extremely wealthy,” she said. “We have so many resources and yet only a few are sharing those resources. Zambia is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Just think about that for a minute. That means that the divide between the rich and the poor is one of the biggest gaps in the world.”
Kasonde said the 2019 Constitution Amendment Bill was designed to take power away from people.
She urged people to raise the yellow card against the whole proposed changes contained in the bill.
“What is more concerning is the attempt to amend the Constitution because that document dictates how the people of Zambia will be governed. And it appears that our current government is trying to hijack what the people of Zambia said in the constitution review processes leading up to the 2016 amendments,” Kasonde said.
She said the constitution-making process should be inclusive and must be managed in an honest manner.
“The people of Zambia spoke; but now they [PF] are trying to bring a coalition government. Where has that come from? It is not what the people want. And deputy ministers we took that one out but where is it coming from?” wondered Kasonde. “The government told us that this will be an inclusive process. Any constitution-making process should be inclusive because it is the people saying how they want to be governed, and yet only the few people in the NDF decided on the part of the whole country, which is not inclusive…to only increase the power of the executive and the legislature and take away power from the people!”