News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
1 minute read
12 Jul 2017
6:00 am

There is no crisis in Zambia, says high commissioner

Virginia Keppler

Numsa says Lungo’s government is no different from the apartheid regime.

Members of The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) protest outside the Zambian High Commission in response to the current political climate in Zambia, 11 July 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Zambian High Commission in Pretoria denies that a state of emergency has been declared in Zambia and says reports to this effect in South African media are inaccurate.

There are also no curfews or disruption of ordinary life or business in any way, High Commissioner Emmanuel Mwamba said yesterday, adding that he was shocked at the reports.

He was addressing about 100 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) who marched to the high commission in solidarity with the working-class citizens of Zambia and to hand over a petition.

Numsa president Andrew Chirwa said they wanted to highlight the erosion of basic democratic principles in Zambia and to demand the “fake state of emergency” be rescinded immediately.

“We are part of the African working class in all 54 countries of the continent of Africa,” he said, adding: “Zambia was once a safe haven for South Africans fleeing oppression under apartheid.

“It is our view that today President Edgar Lungo’s government in Zambia is no different from what the apartheid government used to do,” Chirwa said.

He said they should not wait until there were mass murders to arrest the fast-deteriorating situation in Zambia. The time to act was now.

Mwamba strongly denied Zambia was sliding into a dictatorship. –