Edgar Lungu and his minions have never wanted alternative voices to be heard.
Only themselves and their narrative should be heard. And to realise that they used the public order Act which has been wrongly enforced and interpreted by the police and their cadres.
Patriotic Front cadres have been the main enforcers of the public order Act. They have been stopping the opposition structures from holding even the smallest of meetings saying the campaign period has not started. And they would order the police to arrest them. But any other meetings or gatherings they would tolerate.
And today the COVID-19 regulations are being enforced by them in the same way. Anybody else can gather for a meeting but not opposition members. But they themselves are holding meetings to organise and mobilise for next year’s elections.
This is how dictators operate. Only them, their voices and their views should be heard.
And Saboi Imboela is very right when she concludes that COVID-19 is working better than the public order Act for the Patriotic Front in terms of curtailing opposition parties’ activities.
Saboi says in terms of membership mobilisation, opposition political parties have been affected because of the way the Patriotic Front is enforcing the public order Act and the COVID-19 restrictions.
“They haven’t been tolerant, in terms of parties going out there and mobilising. Before they would use the public order Act [but] right now, the COVID-19 situation is actually working better for them than even the public order Act. The PF are mobilising and they are having their elections and it’s going on fine for them. But for others it’s a problem. They are forgetting that they are the ones who are saying that without a convention, certain parties won’t stand next year. How do you go for a convention? You start with [elections for] lower structures. But now they are stopping the lower structures from having elections,” says Saboi.
Edgar is killing political pluralism in Zambia. It’s very clear he doesn’t want any meaningful opposition in the country. He wants the opposition to exist only on paper and not in an efficient manner. If not challenged and stopped Edgar will destroy our multiparty political dispensation to keep himself in power and in perpetuity.
Edgar is killing the opposition with COVID-19.