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Zambia Criticised Over Banned Rally

CDDR01Following reports that the Zambian government of President Michael Sata intends to block an upcoming rally by a large coalition of opposition parties, the Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights has issued a statement declaring such a move as unlawful.

According to the statement, a combined opposition rally was being prepared for the Mtendere  residential district of Lusaka in order to address the issues of the arrest of opposition leaders and the current spate of food shortages.  The event is being backed by members from the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), United Party for National Development (UPND), Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD), United Liberal Party (ULP), and the Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM).

“There is absolutely no basis under the Zambian constitution or international law for the police to arbitrarily and preemptively ban peaceful political gatherings for no reason,” said Robert Amsterdam, counsel to the CDDR, according to the press statement. “The Patriotic Front administration is in violation of several international agreements that guarantee basic rights to its citizens, such as free and fair association and the right to public assembly.”

The CDDR statement argues that the denial of the permit to the opposition parties follows upon controversial statements by Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba, who recently stated that Zambian people “want a one-party state,” and that the government would seek to “close down” certain Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

“The international community and donor institutions must remind the Zambian leadership of its international commitments, and ask them to instruct Inspector-General Libongani to reverse the order to ban the Mtendere  rally,” said Amsterdam. “There is a clear pattern of abuse to these recent events in Zambia, as basic principles of democracy appear to be under attack.”

One Response to “Zambia Criticised Over Banned Rally”

  1. wamulume Mukundakufwa

    This is nothing to do with President Sata. Its the outsiders who have come to create confusion in party decisions making style. Seriously speaking President Sata would love to have opposition leaders speak to their supporters so that he has an opportunity to reply to them and make fun of their outbursts. This whole fiasco is being created and carried out by very few outsiders who have suddenly become powerful in the PF because they own newspapers. Why do you think suddenly we had so many changes at Home affairs?Think about it…President Sata would rather have put Willy Nsanda at Home Affairs but his arm was twisted in favor of Lung u by the people who wanted to control Justice Ministry , Home Affairs, Parliament Speaker and now are aiming for the Judiciary. They now want to create many bye-elections so that when the PF has the necessary majority they can impose men and women of their choice before parliament who will be passed with little objection. President Sata has since time immemorial survived by hitting back at his opponents…these actions are very strange acts and are totally alien and unlike President Sata strategy. President Sata is not a coward BUT he is currently under siege from these selfish individuals and we must quickly protect him from these vultures..

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