The Drug Enforcement Commission must explain to the nation why it arrested and dragged Civil Rights Activist Brebner Changala to court on a non-bailable offence of drug trafficking which it later abandoned, says NAREP president Elias Chipimo.
Chipimo wondered why the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) arrested, charged and took Changala to court when it knew that it could not successfully prosecute the case.
Chipimo said that it was appalling that security wings such as DEC, the police, intelligence and the Anti-Corruption Commission could be the ones bidding for their appointing authority to harass government critics.
“We are appalled at the treatment of an established civil rights activist Brebner Changala who is doing a gallant job for the country and the people of Zambia by demanding that there be proper checks and balances to this government.
We don’t expect that when the PF is unceremoniously booted out of government in 2016, Brebner Changala will stop his sense of activism, he must continue because it is voices like his that should never be silenced,” said Chipimo.
Chipimo observed that Changala had raised important issues which any listening and responsible government should take note of and address in the best interest of the nation.
“Our view as NAREP is that institutions of governance should not be disbanded but encouraged to attach professionalism in order to serve a greater good rather than be used against political opponents and other critics of government.
They should serve their intended purpose in an accountable manner and not like the way they are now conducting themselves now by bidding for the appointing authority. There is no doubt that the case involving Changala was merely politically driven,” he said.
He challenged DEC to come out categorically and deny that it was not being used by the appointing authority to harass and arrest Changala.
” Let them deny that the allegations we are putting forward are not true, let them explain what transpired, we want to know what they got from Brebner Changala’s home, why the allegations went ahead and why they entered a nolle prosequii,” Chipimo said.
He said that Zambia was in an era where the people should demand certain things from their leadership to offer credible checks and balances adding that leaders had the responsibility to govern and not to fan trouble.
“We are seeing impunity being practiced by the PF leadership; we are seeing arms and organs of the state that should uphold the law and protect individual citizens, turning a blind eye and deliberately choosing to punish those that have different views about governance,” the NAREP leader said.
Chipimo said that the day PF starts silencing voices such as Changala, Zambia will be doomed and spiral into serious political and economic crisis.
He said that what had killed the PF government was lack of a plan for the country and having consistently resorted to harassing, intimidating and attacking people and politicians for being critical.