About 7 Civil Society Organisations have written to Lusaka Police Commissioner Nelson Phiri, informing him that they wish to hold a peaceful protest to advocate for prudent and accountable use of public resources at Parliament, next week.
The Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti signed the police notice on behalf of ActionAid Zambia, Caritas Zambia, GEARS Initiative, NGOCC, Transparency International, ZCSD and activists like Fumba Chama, Pamela Chisanga and Lewis Mwape.
In the letter of notice, Miti informed Phiri that the peaceful protest would be held on Friday, September 28, when Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe would be expected to present the national budget.
“In accordance with the Public Order Act, Chapter 113 of the Laws of Zambia, ACA on behalf of the undermentioned CSOs and individuals, wishes to notify your office of the intention of the said CSOs to jointly organise and hold a peaceful procession and demonstration at Parliament on Friday, September 28. The purpose of this peaceful demonstration is to raise citizen concern on a range of public resource accountability issues to include debt, taxation, corruption and mismanagement of public resources,” she stated.
“In accordance with the law, we wish to hold this demonstration from 14 hours to 18 hours on the day the national budget will be presented by the Minister of Finance, we feel budget presentation is an appropriate day to raise our concern on public resource management in the country.”
She assured Phiri that the peaceful protest would not disturb the proceedings of the House.
“The procession will take form of members of civil society and ordinary citizens peacefully holding up placards on the side of the road leading up to Parliament. We would like to assure you that the members of parliament proceeding to and from the House will not in any way be disturbed, neither will demonstrators seek to enter Parliament precincts. We look forward to the police service facilitating this Constitutional citizen right and duty to raise their concerns to those that govern the country,” she stated.
Last year, Miti, PeP president Sean Tembo, Zambia Council for Social Development executive director Lewis Mwape, Fumba Chama (Pilato), Bornwell Mwewa and Mika Mwambazi, were arrested outside Parliament building and charged with one count of disobeying lawful orders, as they were protesting government’s purchase of 42 fire trucks at US$42 million.