Musician and political commentator Chama Fumba, popularly known as Pilato has branded as stupid the arrest of 35-year old DMI St Eugene student Edward Makayi over a facebook posting allegedly insulting President Edgar Lungu.
The arrest has gone viral with international media organizations feasting on it adding, to the narrative that Zambia has been turned into a dictatorship under President Edgar Lungu.
Makayi has been arrested and charged with defamation of the President.
Below is Pilato’s protestation:
I may not personally say the words that Edwards said on President Lungu and whoever he mentioned but the arresting and charging him for defamation is stupid. The words used are not favourable but lets analyse these things before we subject the presidency to ridicule. Here’s a little analysis….
How is the name of the President defamed? What evidence is there to prove that the president was actually defamed?
The excitement by the police in arresting over expressive citizens will not and is not helping the president at all. Currently there’s a narrative that Zambia is sliding into a dictatorship a notion we keep refuting but such arrests will just fuel that notion. It must be understood that there’s a big difference between a bad act and a criminal act. For example, it is bad to fart whilst talking to the President but it is not criminal. It is bad to scream at the President but it is not criminal. It is bad to boo the president but it is not criminal. What Edwards said is bad….its non negotiable but was it criminal?
That arrest will only instill fear in the citizens instead of respect. If the police manage to instill fear in our people….a big section of our people will choose to be safe meaning they will not fully participate in national dialogues. Even those with meaningful contributions. If we become a fearful nation how much will a brave leader achieve with a fearful people?
Ba Police release Edward naimwe, if you dont like the F word thats your problem but please stop dragging the president’s name in your excitements. Such arrests are fueling the tension thats in the heads of our bishops now because everyone will have to think twice even on social media.