27 February 2013

Zambia: Maureen Lashes Out At Sata's Intolerance

Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa has lashed out at President Michael Sata's regime saying the politics of intolerance being practiced at the expense of national development is a recipe for dictatorship and a police state.

Maureen, whose husband Levy Patrick Mwanawasa governed Zambia between December 2001 and July 2008, took to social media yesterday airing her views after Livingstone erupted into violence.

This was shortly after opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema was arrested to join other party officials in custody following reports of electoral clashes between supporters of the opposition and the ruling Patriotic Front.

A by-election is scheduled for Livinstone and Mpongwe tomorrow but the PF are accused of provoking their opponents leading to clashes that resulted in the death of one person, Henry Chanda, a ruling party official from Monze in the tourist capital.

"Elections thuggery and violence, where to mother Zambia âۻMpongwe and Livingstone?" Maureen asked.

"Politics of intolerance at the expense of national development [is] a recipe for dictatorship and [a] police state."

Maureen, a practicising lawyer in Zambia, warned against blood shed calling on elders in the country to bring political parties together in the interest of development.

"When blood is spilling, the earth opens and heavens watch, man be careful," she warned.

"Zambia needs the voice of elders, my country [is] at cross roads. We must have elders somewhere and this is there time, I miss the voice of Mama Kankasa."

Maureen said Zambians must be brave because they had the responsibility and freedom to express themselves now before the next generation is left to pass a harsh judgment on them.

President Sata has come under criticism for running the country into what many observers may be an authoritarian state.

Recently, opposition political parties that include the UPND and the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy and some civil society organizations petitioned the Commonwealth to consider suspending Zambia for human rights abuses under President Sata.

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