WILLIAM Harrington says it is most unfortunate that President Edgar Lungu and his Patriotic Front party and government are unable to read the mood of the youth who are the majority of voters currently.
Harrington, a former minister of environment during the MMD government, said one has got to be blind and deaf not to realise the growing political wind of change in the country due to the prevailing socio-economic circumstances.
He said the manner the government was dealing with matters was not adding any value to the PF’s campaign to remain in government post 2021.
“I am pleading with President Edgar Chagwa Lungu as Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces to order the police and security wings of government from using high-handed methods against unarmed and defenceless citizens, especially the youth. Examples abound from around the world that such oppressive and suppressive tactics have never succeeded in silencing the people when the desire to exercise their democratic and constitutional right of assembly and expression,” he said. “President Lungu must also recognise and appreciate that those heavily armed personnel he is commanding onto the streets in the name of maintaining law and order may have innocent friends and relatives who could be injured or even killed by some overzealous police.”
Harrington said it was extremely worrying that President Lungu was sending armed forces with intent to injure and kill any perceived protestors.
He said Zambians were a peace-loving people by nature and would only resort to retaliation if they were provoked by overzealous security personnel.
“It is also important to realise that whatever oppressive methods the State may use against its people, especially the youth, no one will to stop them from expressing themselves in the voting booth come 2021,” he said.
“It is most unfortunate that President Lungu and his Patriotic Front party and government are unable to read the mood of the youth who are the majority of voters currently. One has got to blind and deaf not to realise the growing political wind of change in the country due to the prevailing socio-economic circumstances and that by the manner in which our government is dealing with matters, it is not adding any value to the PF’s campaign to remain in government post 2021.”
Harrington said it must be rocognised and appreciated that the youth, anywhere in the world, were catalysts for change and that there was therefore need for any responsible government to attend to their concerns in a compassionate manner as opposed to use of brute force against concerned citizens.
He said it was also important to recognise that no sitting government anywhere in the world has ever succeeded in remaining in power by suppressing the voice of the youth and the voiceless general citizenry.