please take five minutes of your time to read about the dangerous development in #Zambia at the moment. It is important that as many people as possible are informed about current aggression and #humanrightsviolations by the Zambian government.
Imagine some of your friends and people you are familiar with just disappear from one day to the other. Imagine members of your family get kidnapped by police forces because they are supporters of the opposition party in parliament or just spoke out loud that they were unhappy with the current government policy.
All of us know that comparable crimes are committed by many regimes in the world and were committed by a government from my country decades ago but for me personally it has never felt this real like in my last year when I was staying in Zambia.
The story began more then one year ago, when I arrived in Livingstone, Zambia for a sport volunteer program sponsored by the German government. The day of my arrival was the 11th of August when Zambia was electing its president. The two major candidates were President Edgar C. #Lungu and the leader of the biggest opposition party UPND Hakainde Hichilema (#HH). Hichilema, a former businessman, worked out a detailed program how to strengthen Zambias weak economy. The president himself just trusted on his power and populist slogans.
One week later the results were announced: Lungu won with 50,03% against HH who got 47,6% of the votes. Soon there were rumours that the government had manipulated the election. Close to Livingstone a burrow with ballot papers was found, which were obviously supposed to disappear. However, the High Court which is not independent but influenced by the government rejected HH’s petition to investigate the suspected election fraud. Unfortunately we will never know who really won and if Lungu is the legitimate president.
During the last year the situation for the opposition has become worse. Several critical magazines were censored including leading opposition newspaper “#ZambianWatchdog" which continues its work on the Internet. In addition the UPND MP’s got kicked out of the parliament, which now has turned into an absolute loyal institution to President Lungu.
The first peak of the struggle was the imprisonment of HH four months ago. The ridiculous reason for his arrest was that his convoy reportedly took the president’s cars right of way. Although Hichilema was obviously innocent no one could stop the president and his party from abusing their power to consolidate their despotic system.
A couple of days ago HH was discharged from prison but the government still tries to weaken its opposition. One month ago Lungu announced the state of emergency which gave extra rights to the executive and especially the police which has now become an instrument of oppression. People are locked away for crimes that never existed. Everybody has to fear arrest and even torture when criticising this policy because freedom of speech has been restricted to a level which is not even close to any form of democracy.
When my Zambian friends were discussing the sense of the governmental measures I never spoke out my opinion. I only told them that the last politician who had announced the state of emergency in Germany had been Hitler in 1933. This should remind us how dangerous people like Lungu are for democracy and individual freedom.
Currently Zambia is on a way from a relatively stable republic to an autocratic dictatorship which oppresses its citizens. I met many reasonable and educated people in Livingstone who are able to form an effective resistance but they also need support from the international community.
Please and share this remark to inform people about the situation in Zambia! We have to show that human rights violations and aggression by any part of the Zambian government is condemned by all of us!