Western and Copperbelt Provinces had a test of true dictatorship when their provincial party Headquarters were sealed by heavily armed police in riot gear, who by press time had arrested UPND provincial Executive members in Mongu who were addressing a press conference.
The Ndola ‘blitzkrieg’ had Police seal the entrance of the party secretariet denying exit of attendees who they accused of holding a press briefing without a Police permit.
There seems to be a new phenomenon by Police of following the UPND in their own turf, which is a source of great concern by human rights groups, and appears to be a clampdown and strangulation of any form of organised assembly by the opposition.
PF leadership and their surrogates have carried out a sustained campaign to deny that dictatorship has taken root in the Nation.
The three Church mother bodies last week issued a blant joint communique boldly labelling the governance of the country as dictatorship. But upon his return from a State visit of the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, Mr Edgar Lungu angrily scoffed at suggestions that he was a full fledged dictator instead accusing the Church of having a crisis in their own minds
This was however in sharp contrast to a statement he made a month earlier, in a sleepy rural Northern Province town of Chinsali, where he declared that the Nation was at a crossroads because of deep divisions based on tribe.
The two incidents of today joins a long list of systematic institutional harassment by the Police based on a colonial piece of legislation called the Public Order Act, which ironically doesn’t forbid meetings, but only outlines notice as a prerequisite to the granting of permits.