Black Friday protests to continue – FODEP

The recently launched ‘Black Friday’ protests by a consortium of 11 civil society organisations to express their displeasure at the rising cost of living and general poor state of governance in Zambia will continue, says Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi.

Mr Chipenzi told the Daily Nation that the CSOs would not relent but continue to fight for what was right for the country.

He said the CSOs were expected to meet this Friday to discuss the way forward and assured that it was their role to give thorough checks and balances to the government of the day.

Last week, suspected PF thugs stormed BIGOCA church in Matero and disrupted a peaceful protest by advocates of  ‘Black Friday by beating up its advocates which included the clergy and media personnel.

And the attack on the Church was vehemently condemned by various stakeholders in many sections of society.

Mr Chipenzi said it was unfortunate that people were misinterpreting the purpose of the gathering by the CSOs, adding that it was not intentionally aimed at fighting government, but it was the way of expressing this grievances that innocent people were going through.

The CSOs have maintained that they would go on with the protests until their grievances were addressed.And a concerned senior resident of Lusaka, Chewe Mubanga told the Daily Nation that it was important that the people of Zambia supported things that were beneficial to them.

Mr Mubanga said that the move taken by CSOs was not based on personal issues but was aimed at helping  vulnerable citizens to be heard.

He further wondered why the area MP Miles Sampa apologised for the havoc but the culprits are still free.

Mr Mubanga cited the ‘gift’ Mr Sampa gave to the same church which was the arena of beatings by PF thugs as a corrupt action to silence church officials.”There is no way the area MP can go there and apologise and at the same time donate such an amount of money, what do you expect people to do in return.  And as citizens of this country that apology is not genuine and also the minister must be questioned for that,” he said.