Saturday, October 03, 2009

Govt is scared of acquittal protests – Lubinda

Govt is scared of acquittal protests – Lubinda
Written by Margaret Habbuno
Saturday, October 03, 2009 5:43:16 PM

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) spokesperson Given Lubinda has challenged home affairs minister Lameck Mangani to name the diplomats allegedly holding dark corner meetings with some Zambians to destabilise the country.

Reacting to Mangani's statement that the diplomats were holding dark corner meetings aimed at destabilising the country and were behind the planned protests by the civil society organisations, Lubinda said Mangani should name the diplomats who were engaging in such activities.

“I challenge Mangani and President Rupiah Banda to tell the nation which diplomats are sponsoring the civil society organisations (CSOs) to undertake the planned protest. It is just a clear indication that the government is very scared with the honk and whistle [protest]. Mangani is being a coward in his accusations," Lubinda said.

He said the diplomats were highly qualified and mannered people. Lubinda said it was sad that Mangani could reduce them in such a manner.

"Mangani should know that the Zambian community needs the donors more than they need us. So it is important for Mangani to show some element of humility in the way he is dealing with the donor community," he said.

Lubinda advised the government to look at the question of governance from a broader perspective as opposed to being myopic.

"The decision by the CSOs to protest is a domestic issue as much as it is a citizens' issue and Zambians have the liberty to express their opinion and nobody should be seen to take that right away from the citizens," Lubinda said.

He said blaming the donors for the poor governance that the government had shown would not change the present situation in the country.

"If the government wants peace in this country, they should allow for an appeal in the acquittal of former president Frederick Chiluba. Failure to that Mangani should be prepared to face mounting resistance and protestation of the people. Instead of blaming the donors on matters that they don't even have any evidence, they would do well to seek for advice from the donors on how the MMD government can govern the CSOs because the donors are more experienced and have good ideas," Lubinda said.

He said the CSOs should go ahead with the protest because the government did not want to listen to divergent views on national matters.

On Thursday, Mangani accused the diplomats in Zambia of sponsoring civil society organisations to honk and whistle in protest against the acquittal of Chiluba.

Mangani told the press that the government was aware that the planned honking and whistling by the CSOs had the blessings of diplomats.

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