Power and Politics

New Heritage Party alleges govt dictatorship, as police demand list of speakers at proposed Mandevu rally


In a surprising turn of events, the Zambia Police are reportedly insisting on a written list of speakers from the New Heritage Party for their proposed Mandevu rally.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, the Police also requested a registration certificate from the Party before considering their request for approval to hold the rally in Lusaka’s Mandevu area.

In a letter dated May 10, 2024, the NHP expressed its intention to hold a mass rally in Mandevu on June 1, 2024, and submitted their registration certificate to the Police.

Party president, Chishala Kateka, likened the recent police response to colonial-era policing of rallies before Zambia’s independence.

“Raphael Musamba’s police command has now demanded the New Heritage Party to provide them with an official list of speakers for the Mandevu rally on June 1, 2024,” Kateka stated.

She indicated that the party would indeed provide the list of NHP speakers at the rally but expressed concerns that the intention behind these demands might be to prevent any United Kwacha Alliance (UKA) presidents from speaking at the Mandevu rally.

Read More: New Heritage party protests Zambia Police demand for registration certificate as condition for rally

“We are aware that President Hakainde Hichilema and his police are apprehensive about UKA and are striving to divide the alliance using State institutions and operatives, including registering a fake UKA,” she alleged.

Kateka argued that the law does not require a political party to produce both a registration certificate and a written list of speakers to hold a mass rally, likening the demands to a colonial-era permission-seeking process.

“This is simply dictatorship on display. Unfortunately, President Hichilema and his lieutenants within the police force are willing to breach the law of the land to serve their agenda,” she stated.

Kateka further voiced concern that the Police’s actions appeared to be an attempt to dictate the proceedings of political party associations.

“Today, it’s the New Heritage Party, UKA alliance, and the Church facing persecution. Tomorrow, it could be NGOs and Civil Society Organizations,” she warned.

She called for an end to what she termed as impunity by President Hichilema and his group.

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