By SILUMESI MALUMO
POLICE in Lusaka have denied Patriot for Economic Progress (PEP) a permit to go ahead with the protest against the rising cost of living in Zambia.
The police through Lusaka division informed the opposition political party to find other means of airing out its concerns about the high cost of living instead of staging a protest.
And party President Sean Tembo told the Daily Nation that the development is saddening especially that the police had to inform the party at a last minute when they had more than a week to do so.
He said the behavior by the police is a ploy to curtail the party’s constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties of expression and association.
He said in view of the development, the party has resolved to reschedule the planned protest against the high cost of living to a later date to be announced after it concludes discussions with the Police regarding the route to be taken.
Mr Tembo on April 19, 2022 wrote to the police notifying them about the planned protest to be held on April 27, 2022.
“As the general public might be aware, the Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) together with other political parties, civil society and ordinary citizens had written to the Zambia Police Service on April 19, 2022 informing them of our intention to hold a peaceful protest against the high cost of living, today (yesterday) April 27, 2022 at 10:00 hours.
However, our Lusaka Province youth chairman Mr Blanco Chanda was served with a letter by the Zambia Police Service, Lusaka Division – Officer Commanding, Mr. E. Malama in which the police informed us that we need to change the route that we had proposed for our peaceful protest.
“As a party, we are very saddened by this development especially given the fact that the Police had to inform us of their concerns at the very last minute, when they had more than a week to do so. We see this behavior by the Police as a ploy to curtail our constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties to expression and association,” Mr Tembo said.