from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – SOME Zambian youths and farmers are planning a so-called half naked protest against the rising cost of living and what they argue are fake political promises.
They blame President Haikande Hichilema and the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) for the problems.
The protest is scheduled for the capital, Lusaka, on Tuesday.
Police have been notified of the demonstration.
The protest march will start at Freedom Statue, which is dedicated to freedom fighters and those who lost their lives in the struggle for Zambia’s independence.
It will end at the Embassy Park Presidential Burial site, the official burial and memorial site for the deceased former Zambian presidents.
“Our half-naked protest is likely to attract 100 youths from higher learning institutions and 100 farmers from Lusaka and Central province,” said Charles Kakula, the good governance and youth activist.
Among grievances, besides the high cost of living, the protest will also be against delayed distribution of farming inputs, shortages of drugs at public hospitals, load shedding and alleged maltreatment of civil servants.
Hichilema and UPND have been at the helm of the Southern African country since winning elections in 2021.
Critics accuse the former opposition leader and his party of becoming dictatorial since assuming power from Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front (PF) respectively.
The crackdown against corruption allegedly targets members of the previous administration but Hichilema denies the accusations.
“Corruption is a cancer that can consume an entire generation. It is a fight for us all, let us unite and fight corruption,” he said at the International Anti-Corruption Day this past weekend.
This also coincided with International Human Rights Day.
“Nobody will be forgotten. Nobody will be ignored as we strive for dignity, freedom and justice for all,” Hichilema assured.
– CAJ News