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They deserve to be booed

Booing Edgar Lungu is giving him what he deserves.

Though booing of politicians is not that unusual, it sure seems like Edgar is making booing him Zambia’s newest pastime. And the boos, perhaps on their own unremarkable, signify a growing swath of the Zambian population that may be unhappy with his job performance.

This booing is likely to continue and spread across many parts of this country.

The crowds may soon begin booing him more- loudly – to the point of reaching 100 decibels.

If Dr Kenneth Kaunda was heavily booed in 1991, who is Edgar not to be booed?

And such boisterous booing may soon be accompanied by chants of “kuya bebele!” as it was under Dr Kaunda.

Southern and Western provinces may generally be considered to be hostile areas for Edgar, but soon he may experience booing and rejection by audiences he should do well with.

An increasing number of Zambians disapprove of the job Edgar is doing as President.

Edgar and his minions should brace themselves to hear a lot more boos between now and when he finally vacates State House in August next year.

But what is shocking is how and why Edgar’s supporters, Patriotic Front cadres were able to hold a rally in Lusaka to denounce and threaten those who booed him. Why did the police tolerate this rally amidst the coronavirus restrictions and the public order Act?

This is the same police that the other week refused to allow youths to protest in Lusaka! Shame on them and their double standards.

This is the same police that is hunting down opposition politicians holding small meetings to elect their leaders. Is this the type of leadership that should be cheered on? They indeed deserve to be booed.

Booing is an act of showing displeasure for someone or something by loudly yelling boo!

Booing people has a very long history. The first written record comes from ancient Greece. At the annual Festival of Dionysia in Athens, playwrights competed to determine whose tragedy was the best. When the democratic reformer Cleisthenes came to power in the 6th century B.C., audience participation came to be regarded as a civic duty. The audience applauded to show its approval and shouted and whistled to show displeasure. In ancient Rome, jeering was common at the gladiatorial games, where audience participation often determined whether a competitor lived or died. While people have expressed displeasure publicly since ancient times, the English word boo was first used in the early 19th century to describe the lowing sound that cattle make. Later in the 19th century, the word came to be used to describe the disapproving cry of crowds.

This practice has in recent times come under criticism. The opinion is often expressed that to boo a person is unkind and demonstrates a lack of sophistication. However, the counterargument goes that the combination of booing and applause help keep the quality of public performance high, by emotionally rewarding the good and punishing the bad.

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