Power and Politics

‘No to one-party state,’ New Heritage Party to defy police, insists on planned Mandevu rally


New Heritage Party President, Chishala Kateka, has insisted that the planned rally in Lusaka’s Mandevu area will proceed despite alleged threats and refusal by the police.

Police in Lusaka had reportedly threatened Kateka and her party members with arrest if they go ahead with the rally on June 1, 2024.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Friday, Kateka claimed that the Inspector-General of Police had publicly threatened to arrest her and other party leaders if they proceeded with the rally.

“The New Heritage Party will not be intimidated by such threats because bullying usually does not achieve the desired results,” Kateka said.

She explained that the police had received their notification three weeks prior to the rally date—well beyond the required seven days—and that all requested requirements were submitted. Despite this, the police responded with vague and unexplained “security concerns.”

Kateka urged Zambians to exercise their rights and safeguard democracy by standing up to what she described as President Hakainde Hichilema’s “police state.”

Read More: New Heritage Party petitions Human Rights Commission over repeated police restrictions on political rallies

“Let me explain why the New Heritage Party will proceed with the rally. We are within the law and exercising our democratic rights,” Kateka stated.

She emphasized the party’s responsibility to its members and the nation to stand against tyranny, even when it is disguised as security concerns.

Kateka vowed that the New Heritage Party would not hide behind pretense for political convenience but would “walk the talk.”

“We shall not call upon fellow citizens to do what we ourselves are not prepared to do. When we call upon other citizens to stand up for their rights, know for certain, Mr. IG, that this is a sacrifice we ourselves are willing to make,” she declared.

Kateka dared the Inspector-General and his officers to arrest her and her colleagues if they were prepared to face the consequences.

“We shall lead from the front. Mr. IG, we shall not allow you to take this great nation of Zambia back to a one-party state,” she said.

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