Police block planned peaceful demo at Parley

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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Police in Lusaka have denied civil society organisations and some activists the right to stage a peaceful protest at Parliament grounds this Friday.

The CSOs led by Laura Miti’s Alliance for Community Action (ACA) had planned protest against the alleged misappropriation of funds by government officials.

The peaceful demonstration was meant to be held during the presentation of the national budget but police have advised the organisers to pick a different day, saying “the security situation will not be conducive.”

One of the organisers of the protest, Pliato, voiced his frustration at the authorities’ decision, saying he and his fellow activists had picked the occasion because their concerns are directly linked to the the national budget.

“The police have said no to a peaceful protest that we planned to hold to parliament. They have instead asked that we pick a different day for their convenience. What we wanted to do was to protest around the budget because our concerns are directly linked to the the national budget,” the controversial rapper said.

“However, we know better so we will do better.
We have since written to the Home Affairs Minister and challenge the decision by the police officers. We will also be taking the case to the courts to challenge the shrinking space for freedom of expression in a democratic state.”

Pilato hinted that the activists may shift their protest to October 18, which is a national day of prayers and reconciliation.

“As an alternative, we will not protest this Friday at parliament but will instead join the nation on the 18th October 2018 in prayers and fasting. For us as the citizens of this country, we will hold prayers and mourning as we will be reflecting on the state of our nation.

“On the 18th of October, we will hold a memorial service. We will advise on the date and venue. We will not need a permit for this. Thank you. See you.”

And ACA executive director Laura Miti tweeted: “We have a government that treats citizens like an irritation. They want us to shut up about our tuma problems and leave them to enjoy power and our taxes.”

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31