Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti says Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo represents all that the Patriotic Front is.

And Miti says the ruling party has succeeded in its mission to systematically erode citizens’ rights.

Speaking when he featured on a Diamond TV Program, Wednesday, Lusambo said there was a thin line between freedom of expression and misbehaving, which leads to lawlessness.

He said people should address the office of the Presidency with fear.

But commenting on this in a write up to News Diggers! Miti stated that what people saw on Diamond TV from Lusambo, was the whole PF administration.

“Lusaka Province Minister, Bowman Lusambo, called a press briefing! The only purpose of the briefing was to bully into silencing artists and other young people, who have been raising their individual and combined voices to ask questions about the public resource management choices being made by government. On the same day, Mr Lusambo appeared on a Diamond TV interview, where he put on national display stunning levels of ignorance of the basic tenets of the Zambian constitution and constitutionalism. The Minister, seeming genuinely convinced of his wild views, insulted the intelligence of young Zambians, who he said had no understanding of governance. Raising concerns about the state of the nation was lawlessness Mr Lusambo intoned,” Miti stated.

“Now, it would be amiss for Zambians to consider Mr Lusambo’s display of extreme ignorance of the constitution, generally, and citizen rights, specifically, as well as an embracing of dictatorship, as the individual failings of a specific Minister, whose historical roguishness and patently dodgy CV really should have exempted him from any consideration for the office he now holds. What Zambians must understand is that ,what Mr Lusambo’s inherent thuggery allows him to articulate, is actually the character of the whole Edgar Lungu Administration. This dictatorial ethos will just not be displayed by other more sophisticated representatives of the party in power. In short, what we saw on TV from Bowman Lusambo, is the PF. It is the EL administration!”

And Miti stated that the ruling party had succeeded in its mission to systematically erode citizens’ rights.

“The regime in power has, since it came to office, made its mission to systematically erode citizen rights. It has succeeded on this mission, delivering to citizens a Zambia they hardly recognise. Look at it this way, did Zambians ever imagine that two major media houses- the Post and now Prime TV- employers of hundreds between them, and very popular with the public, could be ruthlessly closed down for no reason other than that they gave a platform to citizen voice government could not control? A few short years ago, Zambians would have laughed if told a young artist and activist, Pilato could be arrested for no other reason than holding a closed door meeting, in a Catholic church institution, to teach young people about how public money works,” stated Miti.

“Could we have imagined that ruling party thugs could violently storm a live broadcast in an upmarket hotel to prevent a citizen discussion on the constitution, and those thugs, whose faces were well captured on camera, would never see a day in a police cell? What about journalists being brutalised by party cadres, and radio station property being destroyed as punishment for hosting an opposition leader? All this to say that in processing the shock they experienced in watching Minister Bowman Lusambo, Zambians must understand that that is PF. Citizens should actually thank this one Minister for being unsophisticated enough to put on open display the “new normal” others try to hide. Question nremains- what can citizens do to return to the normal we want?”