It is improper for President Michael Sata to shun, pretend and ignore concerns Zambians are raising against his dictatorial tendencies through his leadership, says International Fellowship of Christian Churches (IFCC) president Bishop Simon Chihana.
Bishop Chihana said that the church would not allow President Sata to turn Zambia into a one party state, adding that freedoms were being taken away at such a fast rate.
He said that there was need for the democracy which people fought for to be protected by all well meaning Zambians that love peace and unity in diversity.
“Today the PF government is in power because of the democracy we desire and the liberties that were laid in 1991 which our President was part of in making and therefore, it will be very unfortunate if today the President broke it with his own hands than making it better. And if he knows the Public Order Act is not helpful to the liberties of its citizens, then he must be the champion to change it, but if he is enjoying the Act to oppress others, he shall surely embrace it to his advantage though the interpretation is misused and abused,” he said.
Bishop Chihana said that the assertion that the PF government under President Sata wanted to revert the country into a one party state were not from without but based on the numerous happenings that were pointing to that regarding governance and the freedoms of the people which his government was infringing.
Bishop Chihana said that it wouldn’t be proper then for President Sata or anyone else for that matter to shun, pretend or ignore the fact that what was happening was threatening the freedoms of the citizens and scaring away foreign investors from investing in the nation.
He said it was sad that the PF government had maligned the opposition political parties in the country illegal, adding that, “ Whilst we appreciate the spirit of promoting the image of citizenry, whereby citizens cannot feel intimidated and inferior from our so called foreign investors, it is also prudent that government must be extremely mindful about how they issue deportation orders to the deemed law breakers.
We are extremely concerned in the manner the police have been handling the Public Order Act on the citizens of Zambia particularly the opposition political parties. We wonder whether what has been happening is an oversight or a deliberate move by the police to curtail the opposition parties. We are seeing how the police have been brutalizing the members of opposition parties, arresting them on unfounded grounds, and also denying them permits to assemble. The opposition are being denied their freedom of association and right to assemble so that together they can address the nation on various issues of their concern.”
He reminded President Sata not to forget that before the PF was voted into power, they campaigned and addressed people through public rallies until the time for elections.
“Our other great and heart searching concern that has become so clear, is about members of parliament of the opposition, how some of them are being enticed to defect from the party they belong to such as MMD to the ruling party. If the allegations are true that the PF party and its government is determined to cause such defections and divisions, then it is sad for Zambia,” he said.
He said that Zambians did not want history to repeat itself, where two opposition political parties in the time of Dr. Kaunda leadership, went into oblivion without seats in parliament due to oppressiveness of the Kaunda regime.