Only a despot can glorify the archaic public order act

By a Correspondent

Zambia is fast drifting back to the dreaded period when the freedoms of expression, assembly and Association for citizens were in perpetual breach because of the state of emergency declared by Kenneth Kaunda under his one party rule using the Public Order Act. President Sata has just declared his love for the Public Order Act and he wants it effective.

Storm clouds are gathering over Zambia’s democracy as unpopular President Michael Sata embarks on a tyrannical route that is likely to see Zambia return to the days of the state of emergency during the ruthless Kaunda hegemonic reign..

Certainly the credibility and legitimacy of President Michael Sata have severely been fractured with his obsession for absolute rule and brutality through his love for the reviled colonial public order act.

Until he got he became president, Mr Sata pretended that he abhorred the public order act and strongly propagated for its repeal among numerous of his campaign promises.

President Sata and the PF since assuming power have militarized the police and the civil liberties of opposition political parties and individual citizens are now imperiled by the partisan use of state security forces.

By stopping opposition political parties from enjoying their rights of freedom of assembly, expression and association, President Sata has effectively banned public rallies and the writing is on the wall that soon the country will be witnessing the violation of the civil rights under the guise of maintaining law and order.

Political party gatherings such as rallies have effectively been banned by the PF government as no political party has been allowed to hold a rally since Mr Sata and the PF were ushered into government.

Instead, Mr Sata’s regime has taken the pleasure of brutalizing leaders and members of the opposition political parties for exercising their rights of assembly and expression.

While this is the right Mr Sata and the PF opulently enjoyed when in opposition President Sata finds it politically sane to deny opposition political parties the same right to hold political rallies.

President Sata’s is glorifying the Public Order Act purely because he knows his popularity and that of his party has shrunk barely a year in government and he is resorting to archaic means of coercing citizens to like and be loyal to him.

Mr Sata who has become allergic to criticism is now using the police to silence those with views different from his and those of his cronies to whom he has distributed his despotic attitude.

President Sata is not a life President and when his term comes to an end, he will certainly be made accountable for his style of governance and it is hoped that he will ready to face the same law he is today violating with impunity.

For now, however, the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) must brace themselves for hard and brutal times ahead as President Sata has come out in the open that he will ensure that the public order act is effectively put to use.

Towards the end of his first term, Mr Sata will use the public order act to detain his political opponents without trial and some of them may even be kicked out of the presidential contest in 2016 if things will be left to continue in the direction they are.

It is also likely that President Sata in his autocratic desperation may declare a state of emergency just to deal with his perceived political enemies before the 2016 elections just to make sure that some presidential hopefuls do not have their names on the ballots.

President Sata in his desire to curtail dissent views, has already unleashed a web of violence on the opposition political parties with the state police brutalizing the leader of the UPND Hakainde Hichilema.

Political violence, intolerance, tyranny and grand corruption in the PF have become a toxic mix that is slowly poisoning Zambian’s democracy and threatening the peace and stability of the country.

President Sata and his party have introduced a dangerous culture of intolerance and violence is now overshadowing the democratic determination for the country to be governed by the rule of law and not by the rule of man.

The freedoms of expression, assembly and association play a critical role in the growth of any young democracy and it would not be possible for democracy to thrive without these tenets.

Without the freedom of expression, citizens would not be able to attain self-fulfillment and would not be able to discover the truth and their capacity to participate fully in governance would not be enhanced.

President Sata is determined to mutilate democracy by nurturing dictatorial traits in his selfish desire to remain in power without legitimacy.

Mr Sata has openly refused to recognize and respect the freedom of assembly, association and expression by saying that he will ensure that the public order act does not get repealed because according to his reasoning, the archaic law is good for him to govern.

The friendship Mr Sata is enjoying with Dr Kaunda and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is nothing but a message that autocratic rule is back in Zambia because Dr Kaunda and Mr Mugabe have never been democrats.

Opposition political parties have been denied to hold rallies for no good legal reason and police have gone as far as insolently rubbishing court orders in denying opposition political parties to hold rallies.

Mr Sata is using the public order act to gag opposition political party leaders so that there are no dissenting views from people.

The arrogance with which the police have violated the civil rights of opposition political parties and other citizens speaks volumes of what kind of government President Sata is superintending over.

But time is now to draw the line in the sand and demand respect for the constitution and rule of law from Mr Sata whose oath is to defend and protect the constitution.

But Zambians being what they are, will at all costs ensure that Zambian being an egalitarian society, her democratic ideals will triumph over dictatorship even in the face of death.

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