GOVERNANCE Activist Rueben Lifuka says Zambia will soon remain nothing but a pseudo democracy, with the only permanent feature being the holding of frequent and contentious elections.
And Lifuka says it is annoying to read statements of PF cadres justifying police’s continued use of live ammunition on unarmed citizens.
In a statement, Lifuka lamented that ruling party leaders were no longer serving but being “lord over us”.
“December 23, 2020 will go down as another sad day for this country, when the pillars of the democracy that we all fought hard for in 1991, all but collapsed. Soon Zambia will be nothing but a pseudo democracy with the only permanent feature being the holding of frequent and contentious elections. The rule of law is being replaced with the rule by law and not everyone is subject to the same laws of the land. The ruling party leaders and their members, have an unexplained sense of entitlement and they are no longer there to serve but to lord over us. Only their lives matter and all other lives are expendable with no serious consequences to the political leadership. In the recent past, lives of innocent people have been lost and no one has been brought to book and convicted for their crime,” Lifuka stated.
Lifuka, who is also former Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) president, stated that the greatest tragedy in the country was the fact that people were too self-centered and not bothered about the high levels of corruption, extrajudicial killings, political violence and lawlessness, among atrocities.
“I have always maintained that the greatest tragedy in Zambia is not so much that we have high levels of corruption, political violence, lawlessness and now extrajudicial killings by the Police. Our tragedy lies in the indifference that we the people have towards such incidents and atrocities. We are too self-centered. We are not bothered about what happens around us as long as we are fine and able to look after our own. We normalize and defend the indefensible. We rationalize corruption and illegality, we simply find it convenient to look the other way and pretend all is well,” he stated.
And Lifuka stated that it was annoying to read statements of PF cadres justifying police’s continued use of live ammunition on unarmed citizens.
“It is very annoying to read statements from PF cadres justifying the use of live ammunition on unarmed people. There is no justification whatsoever that Nsama’s young family and that of Kaunda, have had a sleepless night mourning their loved ones. The young children looked forward to a happy Christmas and all that is now a distant memory. Today, the perpetrators of yesterday’s crime and their superiors, are busy putting final touches to their Christmas celebrations, what happened is just part of the job- no remorse expressed, no responsibility accepted. That is the Zambia we now live in,” he stated.
Lifuka stated that it was not right to trade human life for cheap politics.
“Fellow compatriots, today it is Nsama and the young man Kaunda who have needlessly lost their lives, and their deaths may seem remote because these are not related to you in blood. Tomorrow, this Police brutality will be at your doorstep and when you look around, there will be no one to mourn with you or comfort you because they will all be busy with their lives. We live in a broken society where we no longer look out for one another. This seed we are planting in our society, will surely germinate and we shall reap a sad harvest when human life will no longer be respected. We cannot trade or debase the “sanctity of life” for cheap politics. There is absolutely nothing special about any political leader worth dying for. If nothing urgent is done about this state of affairs, the violence of 2016 will be child’s play,” Lifuka stated.
“Whether the UPND supporters should have heeded the advice not to turn out in numbers, is immaterial at this stage. We are a democracy and on numerous occasions we have seen PF cadres marching in solidarity with their leaders and the Police have even given them escort. The PF in opposition took cadres to the Police station and DEC whenever their leaders were summoned for questioning. We all recall how late President Michael Sata was tear gassed at the DEC office as Police tried to disperse PF supporters who had gone to show solidarity with him. The PF therefore, should be the first ones to behave differently having suffered during their time in opposition to the heavy handedness of the Police.”
Meanwhile, Lifuka wondered why Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo and Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja have failed to take responsibility for the killings.
“The important question is who authorized the use of live ammunition? Surely, there is no denying that some Police Officers were carrying guns and had live ammunition. Secondly, why is the Minister of Home Affairs and the Inspector General of the Police, failing to take responsibility for what happened yesterday? Lives have been lost and you want to divert public attention from this? Where is the integrity in leadership? When is the Minister of National Guidance going to issue a statement on how National values and principles have been violated? When is she going to bemoan this unchristian living where political differences become the reason for lives to be lost? Surely, President Lungu should come out and say something- this will be unprecedented for a Head of State to keep silent in the face of such a tragedy,” stated Lifuka.`