Hundreds of netizens over the weekend joined Alliance for Community Action executive director Laura Miti and three other “Yellow Card Protestors” in expressing their displeasure over rampant corruption in the country.
But Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo has insisted that those alleging that there is corruption in government are merely hallucinating because “His Excellency the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces” is delivering to the people of Zambia
Following police’s decision to deny Miti, Singer Chama Fumba alias Pilato, governance activist Maiko Zulu and Gunduzani Mwale a permit to hold a peaceful protest last Friday, the team decided to “paint the internet yellow” by mobilizing other netizens to post their messages against corruption on their social media pages.
“We want police to know that we will push till we gather, meanwhile, tomorrow let us turn the Internet yellow with a social media protest; let powerholders know that we won’t accept billions building mansions and buying fancy cars, while citizens battle for basics, everything those in power are doing is either to stay in power or massively enrich themselves from public resources, meanwhile the nation slowly dies, #YellowCard to destructive leadership,” Miti posted on all her social media pages, Friday.
Below are some of the people who took part in the “Yellow Card” campaign:
“The Yellow Card campaign has been started as a protest against the things that are going wrong in our country: excessive debt, corruption, closure of the CBU, the reduction of food, education and health services for our most vulnerable, please raise your #YellowCard,” – Linda Kasonde
“Today is Yellow Card day, the police won’t allow a peaceful protest against corruption so we are painting Internet yellow. Please share and post and repost thank you,” – Pamela Chisanga
“We join the people of Zambia in raising the Yellow Card to the robbery of their future through corruption,” – Hakainde Hichilema.
“PF have no plan to save Zambia from what they have done to it. They have never had one; it’s crazy how a few individuals have crippled the whole economy with their unpatriotic corrupt deeds!” – Trevor Mumba.
“Zambia is bleeding colossal sums of money lost through corruption, money that couldn’t help us improve access and quality of education in Zambia to make it truly a human right; money that can increase bursaries. Stop stealing the future of children,#OpenCBU #YellowCard,” – Sydney Mwansa.
“At the expense of others. These leaders abuse office and inhumanly increase the gap between the rich and the poor. Remember that our loss is their gain; we should not expect them to hand as support for #YellowCard because it would be a gain for us,” – Njavwa Simukoko
“Enough is enough! Education is a right for every Zambian citizen to stop delaying the future #OpenCBU #YellowCard,” – Lubunda Chileshe.
“#YellowCard say no to corruption!” – Roy Clarke.
But in an interview, Lusambo, whose wealth has been a topic of discussion in the last few months, trashed the protesters’, arguing that his 9-year-old daughter was more knowledgeable about the well-being of the country than the protesters.
“Laura Miti, ekala kwisa elo achitenshi? (Where does she stay and what does she do?) I can even answer some of the street kids they are more street kids more than Laura Miti, so if she feels she is more Zambian, let her tell us where she is based, is she staying in Lusaka or she stays in the Copperbelt? Mumbwa, Mpongwe, Masaiti then I will be able to answer her. I have a lot of things to do, okay? I have to talk about mealie meal issues, I have to talk about keeping Zambia clean, green and healthy; I have to talk about the hospitals, which his Excellency President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces is delivering to the people of Zambia, I have to talk about nice roads we are doing in Lusaka and other parts of the country; I have to talk about the job creation of our people, [who] Laura Miti to me? Ah! It will be very difficult to comment,” said Lusambo, as he scoffed.
“Show me the people that are alleging that there is corruption in government: Laura Miti and Pilato, what do they know about governance, they don’t know! I don’t even think they buy mealie meal to feed their relatives; I don’t even know if they keep anyone at their homes. Even you, sometimes, when you want to get information, the street kids have more encouraging stories than Laura Miti and Pilato and who’s this other person who likes talking about governance; he doesn’t understand the meaning of governance! There is another guy in the diaspora, but for me, my job I can I assure you that if you talk about the things I have mentioned I will be very glad to discuss those issues and I will even call you to my office to come and discuss those issues because I know those are issues affecting the lives of the people, but discussing those two, sure!? I can assure you that it is a sheer waste of time to comment on what they are doing. Not even my 9-year-old daughter, Sibongile, can even answer that question because she is more focused and she knows what she wants to achieve in her life and she knows what she can add to the well-being of the country.”