Citizens and all people of good must surely be appalled and greatly troubled by the arrogance and disdainful attitude being exhibited by Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on the serious concerns being raised by the International community on the deteriorating human rights conditions in Zambia.
The fact that two very respected World Bodies like the British Commonwealth and Amnesty International have assigned their Secretary Generals in quick succession to Zambia within a period of two months, shows the seriousness in which they view the alarming human rights situation in this Country.
We therefore wish to express our concern on the attempt by Mr Lungu through his press aide Amos Chanda, to belittle and trash serious matters the Amnesty International Secretary General Mr. Salil Shetty has raised, which are synonymous with those other World Bodies have pointed out in the past.
Amnesty International has among other matters, strongly counselled Mr Edgar Lungu to desist from using the Zambian criminal justice system to selectively target his political opponents and independent voices, to urgently amend or repeal the Public Order Act which is being abused, and also to protect and respect the freedom of association, expression and assembly which are critical tenets to good democratic and civilised governance.
The Amnesty International Secretary General also expressed concerns at the unlawful occupation and forceful acquisitions of customary land in many parts of rural Zambia, thereby endangering food security, peace and the general well being of citizens.
These issues and many others of closure of private independent media and fueling lawlessness by fanning political violence in allowing PF cadres attack innocent citizens, without law enforcement intervention, are matters that are indisputable.
What we read from the Amnesty International Secretary General press communique which was released after the meeting, is that Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu promised to study Mr Shetty’s submissions and revert to the Human rights body in due course.
And so we are greatly perturbed that while the Amnesty International Secretary General was still airborne, Mr Lungu authorised his diminutive press aide to hold an impromptu airport press conference, to repudiate the efforts of Mr Shetty.
This kind of self aggrandizing impunity and scorn to the World opinion being showcased by Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, underscores our long held view and firm stand that he is a dictator who is defying acceptable good governance norms, of a truly democratic and free society, where every citizen is treated equally, fairly and justly.
The citizens are at long last vindicated by their long held view that Mr Lungu is taking our great Country on a path of destruction and conflict. When we voiced these concerns and warned our citizens and the International community, we were doubted and accused of beinh bitter and resentful. We are therefore grateful that bodies like the Commonwealth, Amnesty International and indeed our own citizens have come to a full realization of what we are up against with the Patriotic Party Government.
Zambians must demand for accountability and the respect for the rule of law, justice and fair play which must include among other things respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of assembly, speech, association and religion.
We therefore appeal to all citizens regardless of political persuasion, especially the civil society, the Church, student bodies, the Labour movement and all political parties to stand up and speak with one voice against these despotic excesses by the PF Government, under Edgar Chagwa Lungu.