Zambia: SADC must intervene to safeguard democracy
21 April 2017
The Southern African Platform for Democratic Change (SAPDC) notes with great concern the silence of the Sothern African Development Community (SADC) in light of the arrest, on trumped up charges, of Opposition Party Leader, Hakainde ‘HH’ Hichilema.
As the SAPDC, we call upon SADC to intervene in this crisis instead of silently endorsing the acts of President Edgar Lungu, who is no longer committed to the democratic project. Furthermore we call for the immediate release of Hichilema.
It is condemnable that President Lungu has abandoned all democratic practices in order to cling onto power with an iron fist, all while SADC watches. President Lungu has embarked on a campaign of intimidating those who work to safeguard democracy and its practices like media freedom.
As the regional bloc tasked with ensuring economic and political stability it is high time that it spoke out and acted on this atrocity unfolding in a country once regarded as a beacon of democracy on the continent.
The big men of Africa cannot be allowed to trample on the democratic project of building a great continent that puts the people first and commits to human rights and constitutionalism.
Statement issued by Mmusi Maimane on behalf of the Southern African Platform for Democratic Change (SAPDC), 21 April 2017