By Maiko Zulu
Usually I don’t respond to political rhetoric but since it’s the ruling party’s entire Media Director my brother Mr Sunday Chanda who has posed a direct challenge to us the organisers of the #YellowCard protest to disclose the source of funding used for the protest, I’m compelled to respond.
First of all let me put it very clear that I do not represent or belong to any organisation be it political or in Civil Society and my response to the Patriotic Front or indeed my participation in the organisation of the #YellowCard is not influenced by anybody. I feed myself.
Let me put it on record that no CSO, external funder or political party designed the protest. It was I who approached my colleagues Pilato and Laura Miti as individual citizens and we agreed to mobilise citizens to peacefully protest and if you want to know, I authored the term #YellowCard. Don’t let anyone mislead you to think that our #YellowCard is funded by HH or is in line with other international yellow card movements as insinuated by some vuvuzela political party leaders. We cannot stop anyone from aligning themselves with the campaign because it is about everyone including members of the PF
Secondly, the protest was made possible by individuals and any individuals or organisations that printed their own yellow t shirts did so at their own discretion using their own resources and because they identify with the reasons for the protest. Mr Chanda might want to know that I personally walked to City Clothing Factory along Freedom Way and I bought my yellow overalls using MY OWN money. If we were funded, I was going to come in a yellow Jaguar and yellow suit. Bedsides, as an artist I know how easy it is to get money from politicians. We know how to dance at the airport but we are not cut from that cloth.
I want to remind you my brother Mr Chanda that the voice of the ordinary citizens is more powerful than any organisation and Zambians are not stupid to identify with the #YellowCard protests. Zambians don’t need funding to voice out their concerns. Your fights with the opposition should not be mixed with our protest because we speak for every Zambian including yourself and the youths in your party who have resorted to beating you their leaders because of unequal distribution of the country’s resources.
Let me also put it to you Sir that the Police are not doing us any favour by allowing us to protest. Protesting is our democratic right and the Police have a duty to protect us. As a matter of fact, we speak for those same Police officers whose professionalism is at the mercy of caders.
I think right now you will do well to respond to the many questions that the people of Zambia are asking. Listen to the people you promised jobs, lower taxes, and more money. Discrediting the #YellowCard protest today or demonising CSO’s will not make the suffering of the masses disappear overnight nor will it change K6.1bn to K0.
This was just a little demonstration of what People Power can do if leaders are not doing the right things. So bakalamba, if you or anybody has any proof of external funding availed to us for the protest then I equally challenge you to lay the facts on the table. We do not economise with the truth.