The UPND has commended National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa for speaking against injustice in Zambia.

Yesterday, NUMSA declined Zambia’s Ambassador to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba’s invitation to meet him over the closure of The Post saying he has strayed into the political arena.

NUMSA also said it would encourage the South African government and others to impose sanctions against Zambia.

This was in response to Mwamba’s letter last week where he said it was absurd for the NUMSA to stage a protest at the embassy in Pretoria against the liquidation of The Post newspaper.

In a statement today, UPND National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango called on the international community to join NUMSA in speaking for Zambians.

“As Zambians, we are crying out for more such voices in the country, region and the international community before the situation degenerates and spins out of control with potential to engulf our sub region. As the saying goes, oppressed people will not remain oppressed forever as they are bound to react in a manner that will be difficult to contain,” Nalumango stated.

“This is especially that the Zambian population is losing faith and trust in the key institutions of governance such as the judiciary, the legislature, the Zambia Police, Electoral Commission of Zambia, and indeed the media that is getting clamped daily. We therefore laud the NUMSA and urge other regional entities to raise their voices and pressure their political leadership to register concern on what exactly is going on in Zambia, which was once a beacon of freedom, democracy and vibrant trade unionism.”

Nalumango stated that it was comforting that there were still people who spoke for the oppressed.

“This spirit by NUMSA to be their brothers’ keepers must be emulated by all progressive peoples in Southern Africa and around the World. It is comforting to us hearing at least some voices, regardless of where they come from, that can still speak on behalf of the oppressed people whose fundamental rights and freedoms have been infringed and shutdown,” she stated.

Nalumango noted that instability in neighbouring countries had potential to escalate to a global crisis.

“In our global village, especially as neighbouring countries, what affects the Zambian people has a spillover effect on other countries especially those that share borders with us. The current deteriorating human rights situation in Zambia where people’s basic rights such as freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience and others can easily lead to large scale migration of citizens to neighbouring countries where they feel their basic rights will be respected,” she stated.

Nalumango also observed that Zambian trade unions and other organisations “succumbed to the oppressors”.

“As NUMSA puts it, when the PF leadership is now oppressing other people, some will remain quite because they are eating together, but soon there will be nothing left to eat with the PF leadership and that’s when it will dawn on them to voice out, but it will have been too little too late as they will have been too weak and compromised to stand the full weight and bullying of the PF that will easily crush them with nobody left to defend them,” stated Nalumango.

“Our citizens are currently hurting because of oppression and joblessness, while those in employment are subjected to some of the worst profiling and high and numerous taxes, living in fear of being dismissed, transferred, and demoted from jobs for merely being suspected of belonging to the UPND or hailing from certain regions.”