The United Party for National Development (UPND) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) youths have vowed to proceed with their planned peaceful demonstration tomorrow despite police ‘turning down’ their notification.
Deputy Inspector General of police in charge of operations Bonny Kapeso told the youth leaders at a meeting on Monday that police will not allow their planned protest because some of their grievances they plan to protest against are before the courts of law and further claimed the police did not have enough manpower to police the protest.
But speaking at a joint press briefing at the UPND Secretariat Wednesday Morning, the national and Lusaka youth leadership for the two political parties said they have resolved to proceed with the protests throughout the country whether the police like it or not.
The youths are demanding for the resignation of Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson Judge Esau Chulu, his Deputy Emily Sikazwe and the Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Shindano for making unilateral decisions that favour the ruling party without consulting other stakeholders in the electoral process.
Some of the decisions that have angered the youths include the move to discard the current voters register and replace it with a new one.
UPND Deputy National Youth Chairperson Gilbert Liswaniso said the demonstration will be a reminder to those in authority that citizens will not allow Esau Chulu to impose a leader on the Zambian people.
Liswaniso charged that the youths were ready for the challenge if the police want to unleash their newly acquired armoured vehicles on them.
And NDC National Youth Chairperson Charles Kabwita said the country risked plunging into chaos if the current ECZ leadership was allowed to continue at the helm of the electoral body.
“We will not allow this country to be put on fire by two people. This protest, with or without allowing it, we are going ahead because there is no provision in the Public Order Act that stops people from protesting provided all the requirements for a protest are met,” Kabwita argued.
PF cadres are however planning to forcefully disrupt the protests while the police, who earlier claimed they had no manpower to police the protest due to other pressing duties, are already mobilizing officers to block the planned protest.