Governance activist Brebner Changala says there is no doubt that the protest march, which was undertaken by the Constitution Reform and Education Coalition (CRECO) at Parliament grounds, Friday, was government-sponsored.
CRECO members, led by YALI president Andrew Ntewewe, launched the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ campaign under the theme: “the Zambia we love” and marched at Parliament grounds before presenting a petition to Bwana Mkubwa PF member of parliament Dr Jonas Chanda where they were advising Zambians to respect the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) resolutions and President Edgar Lungu’s mandate.
But in an interview, Changala said people should not treat the constitutional amendment process as a competition for two camps that had scores to settle, but as something that was needed to serve the interest of all Zambians.
“First and foremost, I must thank the organizers of the ‘Yellow Card’ protest against the government of President Edgar Lungu; the resolutions of NDF; corruption and maladministration of power. This is how it should be when people are well-informed that the government that is leading them is becoming treacherous! But I must also invite those who attended the NDF to reflect on the conspiracy that they engaged in against the people of Zambia. They must be aware by now that the people of Zambia are against all the resolutions from the NDF, if not all, but most of the resolutions as being treacherous, undemocratic and abuse of the people of Zambia,” Changala said.
“And for them to rise and assemble after they had a bite at the cherry at the NDF and start fighting the people who were not at the NDF, who also want to have a say in the governance of their country; to rise and create a competition to go and march, that is the worst conduct of dishonesty when you don’t want people to have a say! The men and women at the ‘Yellow Card’ protest are showing decency against what you went to do against them at Mulungushi Conference Centre.”
He argued that there was no doubt that the counter-march past against the ‘Yellow Card’ protest had government’s blessings.
“You went to march on a working day, a Friday. That tells you that something is wrong. The ‘Yellow Card’ protesters were given a Saturday, which is a holiday, knowing very well that Parliament was not in session that day. You went to march when senior citizens of this country had been refused to assemble at Mulungushi because they needed a permit, without quoting any section of the law that says ‘for people to assemble and discuss, they need a permit!’ This is anarchy and it is what we are all fighting. This is abuse of State machinery; abuse of the law; abuse of the people because there is no law that requires anybody to provide a permit when they want to assemble and participate in the governance of their country! Whoever is behind this march in support of the NDF is treacherous and must be condemned in the strongest terms,” Changala said.
He added that Zambia’s Republican Constitution must not be a competition between two opposing parties.
“So, I want to tell the organizers of this counter-march that, sit down, reflect and for once, find something to do that will keep you busy other than this business of betraying the very soul and spirit of our country just for 30 pieces of silver! Zambia is greater than your little stomachs, can you look at the bigger picture!” said Changala.