People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) leader Andyford Banda says it is chauvinistic cowardice for a group of men to rise up against LAZ president Linda Kasonde.

And Banda says he is concerned with the manner in which police have continued blocking citizens from exercising their freedom to assemble.

Meanwhile, Banda has joined other opposition leaders in condemning government’s decision to spend K2 million on consultations on whether or not Zambia should leave the ICC.

In separate letters to Kasonde, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja and Justice Minister Given Lubinda on Thursday, Banda discussed pertinent governance issues.

Banda urged Kasonde to stand up for the truth observing that those opposing her were chauvinistic cowards.

“However, we have never seen a LAZ president being attacked in the manner you have been, especially by members of the ruling government. We believe that this is as a result of some sections of society undermining and disrespecting the contribution made by women in leadership. It’s also sheer chauvinistic cowardice for a group of men to rise up in arms against a woman without cause. It’s gratifying to note that you are the first female president of the Law Association of Zambia, not because of your gender but because of your abilities,” Banda wrote.

And Banda told Kanganja that he was concerned about the way police denied the UPND permission to hold a press conference at Chainama Hotel on Wednesday.

“We are very concerned on the recent events where some citizens who gave notice to assemble as per bear constitutional right, were prevented from doing so. What was worse is that when they decided to have an indoor meeting and hold a press conference, your officers blocked them. Our concern is stems from the fact that very soon; we will also be giving notice to hold such meetings. It is therefore our concern that if we mute our voices, the institution that must protect our freedom of assembly in the near future may be weakened and fails to protect our rights, Banda wrote.

“We do sympathize with your office and the personnel who are tasked to handle such events as most of the time; they are confronted by unruly political party cadres who make it difficult for them to execute their duties professionally. However, we do not think it’s a good enough reason to completely deny people their right to assemble. The unruly cadres only represent a small percentage of the majority well behaving citizens.”

Meanwhile, Banda condemned the K2 million ICC consultation budget.

“The International Criminal Court was set up as a court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes; a cause for justice. We therefore find it ironic and disturbing that the Ministry of Justice has commenced consultations over the withdrawal from the ICC…There are consequently no calls for the Zambian government curious agency and preoccupation with ICC withdrawal. If your government is clean, it will be as bold as a lion with nothing to fear,” wrote Banda.

“For your government to spend K2 million on consulting the people on the withdrawal from the ICC, under today’s tight economy, is a basic misplacement of priorities especially that the out appears to be predetermined. There appears to be a penchant for misuse of resources through expensive and unnecessary consultations such as the commission of inquiry into voting patterns of the 2016 general elections. The commission was unnecessary and has overstayed its 90 days mandate. Today no report has been submitted while funds continue to be hemorrhaged. Consultations on ICC withdrawal are likely to follow the same trend.”