RENOWNED musician Brian Bwembya popularly known as B-Flow says no amount of threats will silence him.
In an interview, Bwembya said it was a democratic right for every Zambian to express themselves and that citizens deserved an apology from Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo for attempting to silence alternative voices.
“The first thing I have to say is that every Zambian citizen has a democratic right to express him or herself and that is why we talk about the freedom of expression. So no other Zambian has the right to infringe the rights of any other Zambian because their rights must be enjoyed by all. So, with regards the Minister’s remarks I think he overreacted and his choice of words was quite uncomfortable. I think as citizens, even before we are artists or before we are activists, we are citizens of Zambia first who share these very rights that we are talking about,” Bwembya said.
“I think in the first place, his choice of words was not very good. It was quite offensive, he used words like nonsense, he used words like disgruntled youths in his attempt to silence us and that is not the way to go. So, as far as I am concerned, his position is not the position of government. I think he is speaking in his personal capacity and that the Zambian people deserve an apology from him for attempting to silence alternative voices.”
He said Lusambo had not succeeded to instil fear in him.
“I must categorically state that I will not be silenced because I told you, it is within my constitutional, democratic right to enjoy my freedom of expression. So no one can silence me when it comes to that. There is no amount of fear that has been instilled in me personally. Anything I have said or anything I say when I comment on what is happening in the country is not coming from a bitter place, it is from a place of love, it is for love of the country. So what leaders like honourable Lusambo should do when you find people that are offering counsel, people that are commenting on things that are going wrong, it’s better to ask for their views or what is the alternatives to what they are saying than considering them to be enemies because that is not the case,” he said.
Bwembya asked fellow youths never to be silenced, saying they held the power to elect leaders.
“I would like to urge youths in Zambia never to accept to be silenced because you are more powerful than whoever is trying to silence you. Remember, in the first place you are the electorate. It is you that puts any person in the position of power, and tables should not turn where the one who is in a position of power begins to think they are the master, no! You are in that position to serve the people so the ones you are serving are your masters they are the reason that they are getting the salaries, it is from the taxpayers’ money that you are getting the salary that is making you to be the powerful person you are,” said Bwembya.
“So citizens deserve that respect and let young people speak up and speak out, let them enjoy their freedom of expression. We are no longer in the colonial era, we are a free country. We are a democratic country as far as we are concerned we are all protected by the constitution so we must speak out!”
On Wednesday, Lusambo gave Bwembya and two others a 24-hour ultimatum in which to apologise for speaking out on various governance issues.
Bwembya had posted a video on social media in which he said he was hurt that Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa was forced to apologise for protecting Zambian interests against the Chinese.