THE USE OF THE POLICE TO MUZZLE CRITICS WILL NOT WORK- Faston Mwale

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THE USE OF THE POLICE TO MUZZLE CRITICS WILL NOT WORK- Faston Mwale
THE USE OF THE POLICE TO MUZZLE CRITICS WILL NOT WORK- Faston Mwale

Africa-Press – Zambia. The use of the police to suppress popular voices that are articulating the dilemmas of the struggling masses will not help the beleaguered UPND government. Any attempt to muzzle critical voices is inimical to human rights and is a direct assault on democracy and fundamental freedoms of expression and must not be tolerated. Zambia’s human rights record is already badly encumbered with a wide assortment of atrocities, therefore, any action that further worsens the country’s human rights record deserves condemnation. The reversal of the Call Out notice issued to Fr. Mukosa is a good move irrespective of the fact that Zambia’s Human rights has been further damaged this single noxious act.

Increasingly, the state police is becoming the melting point of human rights violations.

Recent history is replete with examples showing government’s extreme levels of sensitivity to criticism, particularly from political opposition figures, civil society and religious leaders, especially those connected to the Catholic Church. The ability to criticise the shortcomings of government is severely restricted. The United States Department of State has in its 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Zambia has expressed deep concern at the deterioration of rights and freedoms.

The police and other state security agents must be allowed to operate professionally. Pitting the police against leaders of the masses can be profoundly dangerous. The summoning of reverend Fr. Mukosa of St. Joseph parish in the wake of the Easter homily is an obvious example of mischief. The overzealous officers who drafted the noxious call out notice must be tamed and disciplined.

Since coming to power about two and half years ago, the reign of the UPND has been characterized by serious contradictions. A Party that promised to uphold the rule of law, protect and defend human rights is today brazenly violating human rights and freedoms.

In the context of failure to deliver development as promised, the UPND government is becoming more and more fearful of the consequences that may visit it in the aftermath of its departure from government in 2026. Lost in the maze of fear and desperation, the UPND has intuitively transformed itself into a horrifying totalitarian regime.

Zambians must decisively reject the UPND as it is a project built on accelerating injustices and dividing the nation. A new chapter must be opened. A new crop of leaders is needed to take the country forward.

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