20 December 2012

Zambia: Opposition Parties Cry Foul

Opposition political parties have complained over the Zambia Police Service alleged refusal for them to hold a joint rally this Saturday in Lusaka even after they gave notice well in time.

Speaking at a joint media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, MMD president Nevers Mumba said the parties would not allow the police to infringe on their rights of freedom of association as enshrined in the Republican Constitution.

The meeting was attended by the United Party for National Development (UPND), United Liberal Party (ULP), Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD), and Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) leaders.

"As opposition political parties, we shall not sit and watch but we shall fight back and ensure we have our rights.

"We shall suffer together, walk together to prison until Zambia is free," Dr Mumba said.

Journalists were, however, not given an opportunity to look at the letter from Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani denying parties a chance to hold a rally and which MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya said contained some "bad" legal issues against the parties.

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said the denial by the police to allow the parties to hold a rally despite early notification was a sad development.

ADD president Charles Milupi implored the Government to concentrate on improving the welfare of citizens in areas of education and health.

"We shall now carry out door-to-door campaigns to sensitise Zambians against these bad policies. Let Government concentrate on improving various sectors," Mr Milupi said.

ZDDM leader Edwin Sakala vowed that opposition leaders would come up with an effective approach to counter-react to the police's move to block them from holding rallies.

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