Residents of Nyimba District Spoken to by the Watchdog have demanded that President Sata and his Patriotic Front (PF) should stop politically harassing and arresting Dr Nevers Mumba of the MMD and his counterpart Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND).
The residents are deeply concerned with the breakdown of the rule of law in Zambia and are worried that Zambia has quickly degenerated into dictatorship under Mr Sata.
The residents most of whom are government and ecumenical workers said it is disheartening that Zambia’s democracy is quickly getting eroded using some archaic laws like the Public Order Act.
The residents said the harassing and arresting of Dr Mumba and Mr Hichilema would not solve the challenges the country is facing such as high mealie meal prices, corruption and nepotism as well as tribalism.
Dr Mumba and Mr Hichilema, the leaders of the largest opposition political parties in Zambia have been on the President Sata’s apocalyptic template and his PF has been working hard to limit their public discourse by their continuous arrests and detentions.
The Nyimba residents are wondering why Dr Mumba and Mr Hichilema are only seen at police stations and courts and never seen when wanted to address the nation through public political rallies.
The residents who did not want to named for fear of victimization said Zambians did not get the change they voted for in Mr Sata and the PF.
They said President Sata is ruling the country using terror and that most of the civil liberties are now being abused by the police with impunity.
“We want to talk but things have changed in this country. When you want to say something, you have to check your shoulders to see who is eavesdropping. But if you promise not to mention our names, we can tell you that Mr Sata should stop harassing and arresting Dr Mumba and Mr HH (Hakainde Hichilema) because that is not building the nation. We are worried that we can only see Dr Mumba and Mr Hichilema either at police stations or in courts. What does the President think about these people,” they wondered.
The residents said Mr Sata would never have become President if former President Banda was as draconian as Mr Sata has become since assuming the presidency.
They said President Sata and the PF should know that time will come when they will leave power and that what they are doing now will come to haunt them.
They explained that President Sata is creating a lot of anger in the general citizenry by his continued arrests and detentions of Dr Mumba and Mr Hichilema who they described as the hope of Zambia’s democracy.
President Michael Sata became Zambia’s fifth president through a democratic election but the man has been on the fast track dismantling democratic institutions with the purpose of taking back the country to odd and fearful days of the one party state.
Despite good advice and heavy criticism from many well meaning Zambians that Mr Sata should avoid the temptation of becoming a despot, the president seem determined to turn Zambia into a despotic country.