Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have castigated people that are attacking Lusaka lawyer John Sangwa for expressing his opinions on President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to stand for presidency in the 2021 general elections.
The CSOs said Mr. Sangwa, just like other Zambians, has the right to express his views over matters of national interest.
In a joint statement, Chapter One Foundation Executive Director Linda Kasonde, said stakeholders should be open to opposing opinions on the issue of who is eligible to stand for elections as president in 2021.
“We are of the view that the issue of understanding on who is eligible to stand for election as president and how long a president can remain in office is a subject that is integral to the fabric of our governance and democracy,” Ms. Kasonde said.
The joint civil society organizations have since shown solidarity to Mr. Sangwa who has been under attack for expressing his views on the interpretation of the constitution regarding President Lungu’s eligibiity to stand in the 2021 elections.
Several organizations, among them Caritas Zambia, Action Aid and Alliance for Community Action, have expressed concern over the attacks on Mr. Sangwa.
They said Article two of the Zambian constitution identifies the right of every person to defend the constitution.
“Article 20 in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of Zambia recognizes every person’s right to express ideas and information without undue interference,” Ms. Kasonde said.
The civil society organizations have since encouraged and commended all citizens who speak up on pertinent national issues in spite of possible intimidation or personal attacks.
On Monday this week, Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, described Mr. Sangwa’s views as misguided and asked him to keep them to himself.