The worrying crackdown on dissent and democratic rights in Zambia- Sishuwa Sishuwa


The worrying crackdown on dissent and democratic rights in Zambia

By Sishuwa Sishuwa

The crackdown on human rights in Zambia continues! Over the last 24hrs alone, police have arrested and detained without charge two members of parliament, a president of an opposition party, and a prominent civil rights activist. The four are accused of hate speech or seditious practices, and remain in police custody.

Rampant human rights violations are becoming the norm under President Hichilema. Since 2021, the police have blocked all public rallies called by opposition parties outside of by-elections, always citing unspecified security concerns or inadequate manpower; independent and opposition lawmakers are regularly curtailed from holding the executive to account and suspended from parliament at the slightest of excuses; religious leaders face censorship, threats, and intimidation for preaching sermons that highlight social concerns; citizens are denied their right to protest against the cost-of-living crisis or the hardships they are facing; nearly all opposition leaders are either facing what appears to be politically-motivated court cases or already serving prison sentences over what they said; and the State continues to orchestrate divisions in opposition parties and obstruct the registration of the United Kwacha Alliance, a coalition of several opposition parties.

Zambia’s democracy is bleeding – and bleeding badly. If the economic situation does not change for the better, the crackdown on dissent and democratic rights is likely to worsen. Already, the cost of living is at an all-time high, as the prices of fuel, transport, and food is now out of reach for poor ordinary Zambians. Load shedding or power cuts now last for as long as 15 hours a day, thereby crippling economic production even for small businesses; and the country appears to be deeply polarised along political, ethnic, and regional lines.


  1. Sishuwa the good thing is that you realized quickly that you had supported a totally wrong person, and made a very sharp U-turn. In government institutions and public or private companies we have seen some individuals who think all the people under them are nothing, they are just trash. Nobody can advise them, nobody should tell them their wrongs, if he does he’s fired on the spot. Such bosses have always ended up badly. Even presidents, name them, those who thought everybody in their respective countries is trash, unleashing police and soldiers on anybody seemingly against them, have all ended up bery badly, e.g. Mobutu, Bokassa, Idi Amin, Mugabe, Idris Deby, Haile Selassie, Muammar Gadaffi, etc. So it’s better to put people under you , above you, then you will succeed live longer and vacate happily! Now here is a country which already has a strong divide along ethnic and tribal lines, and instead of practically uniting a president contributes to further divisions! Result is tension and hatred! Worst result is most people wanted just to try! So they are now saying no more again from that region! So everybody from that region has been shut out for long time to come!

  2. Dokota Shuwa Shuwa, you deliberately omit the reason these chaps are being arrested. The Zambian Constitution is very clear on the unitary nature of our country and delivers punishment on those who seek to divide the nation. Unfortunately, it appears the current punishment against this particular violation of the constitution is not strong enough to deter even certain members of Parliament from formenting division. Let’s not forget that those formenting division are trying to divert attention from ongoing investigations in which millions of kwacha worth of properties are being forfeited to the state.

  3. Unless you want to mislead the nation, we all know why most of these chaps are in is their hate and tribalism utterances in their support of what is turning out be someone who agreed to be abducted.

  4. This is the problem with Sishuwa! He is not so sure of himself!
    He speaks like one who is under the influence of a Brown Envelope!
    Surely with all the video evidence of what was being so openly and foolishly uttered, you still want to put a spin to it?
    Those arrested have brought calamity upon their own heads by peddling tribal hate speech!
    Bazakambila kusogolo!
    We’ll not allow a few careless mouths to destroy our country!

  5. Sishula, the big dog here is Sakwiba Sikota or Saki who will die because of icipyu for not being given a vote to lead UPND when Mazoka died. No HH fault he lost intra party elections and his legal mind died at the same time. Nomba Acura fye ifyabusushi kwati ni Lungu.

  6. Sishula, when people steal they must be arrested. Try it snd you will see how good the police are. They don’t teach you that in history? A doctor in history where there are no emergencies should take time to study how the law works!

    Asashula like mmembe everytime you hold the pen or key board. Naiwe amano yalepwa kwati ni Saki naulya gasser Sumani Simba!

  7. That’s why we can’t develop. The opposition is too selfish, they want to be politicking all the time even to the extent of deliberately committing crimes and expecting not to be arrested. Every body that is in jail right now is deserving. You can’t be committing crimes with impunity and expect to be let free just because you are a politician or fake human rights advocate. That’s out let everyone committing crimes regardless of their social standing in society be held accountable

  8. Not sure if you live in Zambia, sir.
    Are the four people you have mentioned accused or they actually abrogated the law?
    Why were you not the first one to condemn their tribal rhetorics? Because you were okay with them.
    Now that they are arrested, you want to condemn to police and government in general.
    We are all alive to what transpired and personally, I commend the police for their action, lest our country becomes ungovernable and you, yourself, comes out saying HH has failed.

  9. Shishuwa is a disgress to education. To think he is from our biggest and oldest university is disappointing…..what a waste.


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