Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti says President Edgar Lungu acts as though he is at war with law.
Reacting to the displeasure by the American government over Zambia’s decision to deny Zimbabwe’s Tendai Biti political asylum, Miti expressed worry that the US sanctions would hurt the poor.
“Please America, if you are going to punish Zambia for lawlessness, please don’t touch aid, don’t touch ARVs. That will only hurt innocent poor people. The lawless ones won’t feel an aid ban. They will continue to live the good life. I suggest you just institute a travel ban on everyone with a diplomatic passport. You have no idea how they love the airport, these lawless ones. If you take Washington, New York, and especially the UN annual jamboree – where they go for boat cruises using our money – away from them, I swear they will cry. So please, please America, punish but don’t punish our poor. Use a targeted missile,” Miti said.
She observed that the lawlessness under President Lungu had never been seen before.
“President Lungu’s decision to blatantly defy a court order, and deport a high-profile asylum seeker, has shocked the observing world. As someone said, it feels as though this President has an antagonistic relationship with the law. He approaches it like one would an old enemy who once made you feel small, then you run into him/her when you have made it in life. Your whole purpose is to get your revenge. I swear President Lungu acts like he has a need to bring law and order into submission. He wants the rule book to bow and say – ni zoona akulu, ndimwe ba Kateka!” Miti stated Sunday.
“The problem with having such a President in office is, of course, the general sense of anarchy we are seeing around us. It is a lawlessness which is well exemplified by my never-ending shock – that PF cadres can hang out of overloaded vehicles that speed on the wrong side of the road with horns blaring and lights flashing. They can bully other road users and the police in numbers just stand by and pitifully watch. To Zambians I say, every time you are forced off the road by that frightening convoy of cadres, usually on its way to or from the airport, when you hear cadres hurl insults at anyone who might delay their anarchical progress, when you see the police stand silently on the side of the road, just know that the country you once knew does not exist anymore.”
Miti stated that the annoying conduct of PF cadres was a reflection of a rotten presidency.
“Think of it this way – why would someone who allows cadres to do what PF cadres do conduct a fair election? Why would he defer to the the judiciary? Why would he respect public money? Why would those around him respect any law that might be a hindrance to something they want? Simply, I am suggesting that we are living in a state of absolute lawlessness. What has remained is a pretence at order. It is a pretence that, however, cannot hold when the personal needs of the boss, or of those close to him, are threatened. The law is now secondary to the overwhelming desire for power and wealth accumulation of a relatively small group of people. The interest of the rest of us millions of Zambians, sadly has to submit to what those few people personally want,” said Miti.
“We are on a runaway train that is approaching the edge of the abyss. The question is, will we all sit on this train quietly and watch it go over? My sense is we can still save ourselves, if we try. It is up to all of us. I am convinced of a few points. First, is that there are many people inside the establishment who are feeling a sense of real panic at what they are seeing around them. The truth, after all, is that those of us outside only see a fraction of the drama. Second is that, very important to our collective salvation will be these people in the establishment. So, it is individuals in the police service, the judiciary, in the civil service, the army, secret service, cabinet, in the PF, even among the PF cadres who have not signed up to making Zambia the plaything of a few people, who can quietly but surely resist. But, unless there is a massive citizen movement against the destruction of our country, the sane people inside can only watch the madness around them.”