I was amazed to read today’s comparison between attitudes to PF and MMD. Lately a breakdown of law and order has spread from the capital to much of the country, and especially to parts affected by bye-elections. I use ‘break-down’ to describe areas where PF ‘activists’, often carrying offensive weapons, including even guns, are free to act offensively against opposition political parties, with little or no control by the Zambia Police.
Some 2 months ago there was a well organized attack on a politically motivated meeting in a well-known church in Lusaka headed by Bishop Mambo. The Bishop and several of his colleagues were violently attacked with sticks, hoes etc. Several were injured, and the Bishop was admitted to hospital. No action was taken against the attackers, though some were reported by name to the police. Miles Sampa later offered Bishop Mambo several thousand kwacha compensation.
It is now quite normal for opposition politicians to be attacked by PF thugs, often carrying weapons, and for no action to be taken by the police. Accounts of this kind of violence, and of lack of police action, are now reported almost daily by the Zambia Daily Nation, which can be found on www.zambiadailynation.com. Similar reports were until two weeks ago reported on www.zambianwatchdog.com, but its publication has now been banned. The Zambia Daily Nation is still published daily, but for how long? It is by no means offensive, and seems to be accurate. It is now the only non-governmental daily paper, as Mmembe is in Sata’s pocket. Parts of a paragraph on 25th July read as follows:
‘Zambia’s cooperating partners have observed that the PF’s unbudgeted expenditure risks crowding out resources from programmes targeted at poor Zambians.‘UK Department for International Development (DFID) head Kevin Quinlan who spoke on behalf of the cooperating partners underscored that an active and free opposition is an essential element of democracy, adding that the partners were also concerned about the recent allegations of constraints of freedom of the media in the country. “The budget deficit is now much higher than planned….” He said.‘Mr Quinlan said the cooperating partners also shared the concerns also raised by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) on the ongoing infringements of fundamental freedoms in the country.’
I could quote far more of that article and from others, but you can see it all for yourself on the web. I think you need to be wary about obtaining information from PF sources. Your table showing government services in columns illustrates heavy bias. It awards MMD no points at all for ‘Resolving violent conflict’ and ‘Reforming the judiciary’, and gives them a mere 25% for ‘Managing the Economy’ and 26% for ’Fighting Corruption’. I would say the truth is exactly the opposite As I see it, this report, unless corrected, will do serious harm to the high reputation of Zambian Economist for judgement and objectivity.
Your attentive reader