The situation in Zambia is deteriorating rapidly. On Wednesday President Edgar Lungu declared that he would seek parliaments approval to impose a state of emergency in that country.
Lungu claims a fire which gutted the country's biggest market is politically motivated arson. It seems Lungu is using the fire as a justification for increased authoritarian rule.
The nation which was once famous for providing refuge to South Africans who were escaping the tyranny of the Apartheid government, is now in the clutches of tyranny. NUMSA condemns Edgar Lungu’s call for a state of emergency!
Over the last year Zambia has increasingly suppressed any voices of dissent, including clamping down on independent media houses in that country. Furthermore, Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, of the United Party for National Development (UPND) has been languishing in jail since April for daring to defy the Lungu autocratic regime. Hichilema has been arrested and charged with treason for allegedly blocking Lungu’s presidential motorcade. He’s facing the death penalty for a traffic violation!
The right to associate in Zambia has been suppressed by the current administration and Workers have been denied the right to organize. Those who publicly voice criticism of the Lungu administration find themselves victims of harassment and state sanctioned brutality.
We are encouraged by the voices of the clergy, particularly the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ); the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) who have raised their voices to denounce the dictatorial regime of President Lungu. The three arms of the church have condemned “the muzzling of peoples freedoms and the violation of basic human rights” which have occurred under Lungu’s leadership. The clergy have also bravely denounced the Lungu administration for being oppressive.
NUMSA is a Marxist-Leninist inspired trade union and we do not share the same ideology as Hakainde and the UPND. However, we will not be silent when ordinary citizens are being brutalized. We cannot stand back when the current Zambian government behaves like the Apartheid government and continues to violate basic human rights.
We owe a huge debt to the people of Zambia for the sacrifices they made for the liberation movement in our country. And now that they are in need, we will stand in solidarity with them.
NUMSA Locals in Rosslyn and Madibeng as well as the Hlanganani region in Tshwane have resolved to take up the campaign on behalf of workers and their families in Zambia. They will gather outside the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria to demonstrate against the dictatorial regime of Edgar Lungu.
Details are as follows:
DATE : 11 July, 2017
TIME : 10:00 – 2pm
VENUE : 570 Ziervogel Street (Off Hamilton street) Arcadia Pretoria
The struggle continues!
Issued by NUMSA