Sangwa deserves support, solidarity

Standing up against tyranny, violators of human rights can be a very lonely undertaking.

We therefore highly welcome the solidarity extended to John Sangwa over his views on the interpretation of the Constitution about Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to contest next year’s presidential elections.

John has come under heavy attack from Edgar’s senseless and intolerant sycophants. Given the criminality and impunity of Edgar’s league, John’s life is in great danger. He needs support.

And the solidarity action from a consortium of civil society organisations – Chapter One Foundation, ActionAid Zambia, Alliance for Community Action, Caritas Zambia, CISCA, Centre for Trade Policy and Development and NGOCC – in defence of John and his right to defend the Constitution is timely.

John deserves respect for his great intellect and courage to express his views in a forthright manner under these threats, intimidation and hostility.

We are dealing with criminals who have no respect for laws and the rights of others. They are ready to crush you like a tonne of bricks if you try to stand in their way to eternal rule.

They don’t care that Article 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia recognizes the right of every person to defend the Constitution and places a duty on anyone that feels the Constitution is being overthrown, suspended or illegally abrogated to defend the Constitution.

John is defending something of very great value at a time when many of our people are scared of even coughing lest it annoys Edgar and his minions.

John’s honesty and courage is admirable and deserves emulating.

His constitutional right to say what he is saying must be defended by us all.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It also underpins most other rights and allows them to flourish. The right to speak your mind freely on important issues in society, access information and hold the powers that be to account, plays a vital role in the healthy development process of any society.

Access to free expression is also vital both to support the development process and as a development goal in its own right. Expansion of freedom is both the primary end and the principal means of development.

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