Edgar Lungu has made it clear the police has been acting on his orders to deny the opposition the fundamental human right to assemble and express itself – to hold rallies and other public meetings.
Edgar says the police are perfectly within their right to stop anyone from campaigning.
Responding to The Mast’s question on whether the country was under any form of national security threat which is making police deny opposition parties and civil society the right to mobilise and, or right to assemble, Edgar last Friday said political parties were not going to be campaigning when the country could do other things. He said the country should focus on things, which matter like the economy.
“Are you sure we should be campaigning from 2016 to 2021? I tend to think that sometimes it calls for common sense! You can mobilise, yes somehow, as a political party but are we going to have the frenzy that goes with campaigns during the last three months or six months of elections? Don’t we have a season when we can do these things? Let’s focus on things which matter and things which matter now, is the economy, the wellbeing of this country. Once in a while, yes, you can go and hold a public meeting,” said Edgar. “But what I’m seeing in Zambia is that we like having fun. It can’t be fun, fun, fun all the time. There are times when you say ‘let’s go and work.’ So for me, is the police not in order to allow these gatherings become a norm? They are perfectly within their right but there is nothing to stop you from holding a public meeting, if you feel like. But speaking for myself, I would rather focus on serious issues by going to out there to do some work as opposed to galvanising political support from 2016 to 2021. When are we going to work?”
But the police have been giving a different reason for stopping opposition rallies. They have been giving reasons of “security” or “tension”. We all knew they were lying. Edgar has, without shame, told the nation the true reasons which have nothing to do with security. And no one can say Edgar doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is the commander-in-chief of Zambia Police!
But are these really the reasons that Edgar can use to stop the opposition from holding rallies – a fundamental human right?
And which law is this?
The truth is Edgar has become a law unto himself. His political fears have been turned into a law that is above our constitutional and fundamental human rights!
The question is: now that the opposition knows the truth about why the police is not allowing opposition rallies what is to be done?