PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza has rubbished resolutions made by the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) during a summit in Accra Ghana, that condemned State brutality and dictatorship in Zambia.
And PF media director Sunday Chanda says government will not be lectured by a ‘club’ with liberal values and agendas that are at variance with the core values of the country.
On Sunday, ALN issued a statement, challenging the PF government to uphold ideals contained in the African Charter on Human Rights and good governance.
“Africa has expressed serious concerns on the deteriorating political situation in Zambia and urged the government to restore democracy in the country. More than 30 countries in Africa passed a resolution on Sunday in Accra, Ghana urging the Zambian government to depart from the path of dictatorship and allow democracy to prevail. The resolution was passed at the General Assembly of the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) meeting in Accra. The ALN is an organisation of 44 political parties from 30 countries in Africa,” ALN President Steven Mokgalapa of South Africa stated.
“The meeting noted that the Zambian government lacked commitment to national unity, good governance, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law as enshrined in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The meeting also observed that Zambia was sliding into one party dictatorship as press freedom, freedoms of expression, assembly, movement, privacy and association were being trampled upon every day, and opposition political parties were denied the freedom to operate due to repression, state brutality and political violence. The meeting was concerned that the prevailing circumstances were fueling tension in the country, threatening peace and stability in Zambia, thereby exposing the country and all its values to the dangers of civil strife, displacement and misery.”
But reacting to the ALN in an interview yesterday, Mwanza said the statement was contrary to the truth and did not reflect the situation in the country.
“That report is not reflective of the situation that is obtaining in Zambia. Here is the truth; on the Public Order Act, government has asked stakeholders to make submissions and recommendations with regards to the specifics that they want to see amended in the Public Order Act. This is the process that has been open, transparent and inclusive to everyone. All political parties, church organisations, civil society, individuals, have been asked to make their submissions with regards to what they want to see changed in the Public Order Act. So it’s not true to say that government has not been committed to ensuring that the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution are respected by all,” he said.
“Secondly. When they talk about government’s commitment to national unity for instance, this is a government that has adopted the One Zambia One Nation motto and enshrines it in our day to day affairs of the people. In terms of dialogue, this government has opened up a process of dialogue even to the international organisation such as the Commonwealth. We have had Professor Gambari in and out of this country to try and ensure that we continue to dialogue over national issues that have become thorny.”
Mwanza claimed that the PF government had allowed freedom of expression and the press to flourish.
“In terms of good governance, how many private owned radio stations, newspapers, television stations are there in this country? These media institutions have been allowed to operate freely and this is why the media is flourishing. This is why we have so many media institutions because this government has allowed the freedom of expression, freedom of the press to flourish. So the ALN don’t know what they are talking about, they are blank,” said Mwanza
Meanwhile, in a statement issued yesterday, Chanda described ALN as a club whose agenda was to promote gay rights.
“It has come to our attention that Liberal parties, including UPND, met in Ghana to adopt a common constitution that will support and promote gay rights in Africa. The UPND delegation included their Chairman for international relations Mulondwe Muzungu and party spokesperson Charles Kakoma. UPND, with its partners appended their signatures to adopt the rights of homosexuals, which includes lesbians, gay, bisexual, non-binary and intersex relations whom they classified as marginalized,” stated Chanda.
“The same gathering was used to discredit Zambia’s image and that of the Patriotic Front Government as covered in some sections of the media. We wish to advise the Africa Liberal Network that PF shall not be lectured to by a ‘club’ with liberal values and agendas that are at variance with our core values and culture as Zambians.”