I know it is said “The more things change, the more they stay the same”
President Michael Sata recently said he now appreciates Public Order Act his party thought was a bad law while in opposition.
This is the same Public Order Act that almost had Sata almost permanently blind following numerous teargasing he suffered as an opposition leader.
In fact, one can safely say part of Sata’s poor healthy condition may partly be blamed on the toxic gasses he ‘smoked’ himself and teargasses on him.
People are quickly losing the freedom of association under the Patriotic Front using this bad excuse. Now political parties are being stopped from addressing rallies and even worse, having internal meetings citing security concerns by police.
Not long ago, UPND rallies were stopped in Kanyama and Chawama in Lusaka and also indoor meetings and rallies in Mongu.
MMD’s Michael Kaingu also had his meeting stopped in Mongu. Why should we sit quiet and watch the PF take away the most important of our freedoms as political parties and citizens.
This approach by the PF government is against any reasonable public opinion.
Quickly, I appeal to the civil society organisations such as Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), SACCORD, and the Churches to circulate a petition or call for mass action in opposing these oppressive tendencies. This must be presented to government concerning the unpopular position of President Sata on the Public Order Act.
There is bad government because good citizens choose to do nothing about the wrongs that are emerging.
This matter about stopping public meetings reared its head in Kanyama, now it has its torso in Mongu and by the time it gets legs, it may just be too late for anyone to stop it running the full course.
With this admission, we know now why the Police officers on the UPND rally in Kanyama used these words “We do not care about the court order, we are applying Sata’s law”
And to all Sata’s praise singers, know that this is man who campaigned on the premise of no job on training yet today he sounds surprised how good some oppressive laws have become once in power.
Is this not a way of telling us that he little understood what government was all about? Or telling us that all that he preached against as bad for governance was just a way of begging to get to State House and not address that which made the people angry and vote out PF?
By this statement, Sata is effectively saying he did not know that corruption, bad governance and abuse of law is actually good.
Sata can actually back-peddle on anything and say he did not know what he was preaching about.
We will need Sata and his police to understand that exchange of information is the best security for the country, than use of force. In fact what they are creating by denying citizens their freedom to associate is insecurity and a recipe for political violence. People will just snap up one day if this goes on for too long.
In fact the call for action may not be popular for PF now but it will be for their common good in future as well. Let them ask their friends in MMD.