UPND market chairman triggers r!ots in Namwandwe area, Mansa district,after attacking a marketeer for playing ‘alebwelelapo’ song


The protests in Mansa today responded to a growing UPND leaders’ and cadres’ intolerance and the taking of the law into their own hands. They think they are an extension of the police and can apprehend and detain anyone at will.

There’s no good reason for the UPND market chairman to attack someone for simply playing Alebwelelapo music. We may likely see more of this if the UPND and the police do not change their ways.

What happened in Mansa today is an expected reaction to the rise of UPND supremacy and anti-opposition in policing, which has resulted in egregious violations of opposition members’ human and civil rights.

This stifling of protest paves the road for authoritarian rule, unchecked abuses of power and democratic backsliding, and setting us on a collision course with the democratic ideals and ethical principles enshrined in our Constitution and embraced by the international community. It also forecloses the possibility of peaceful resolution of the policing crisis by shutting down an effective tool to agitate change. Whether they like it or not, change will come, Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND will go – baleya.

Without condoning or encouraging violence and destruction, we salute the people of Mansa for standing up to injustice and violations of fundamental freedoms.

We should celebrate and honour the actions of all who courageously stand up against injustice instead of targeting and terrorising those who continue to speak out for the individuals who are not able to do so for themselves.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

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