ActionAid Zambia Condemns Arrest of “Fix ZESCO” Protesters

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia -( July 10, 2024) – ActionAid Zambia strongly condemns the arrest of four members of the “Fix ZESCO Protest Movement” by the Zambia Police.

The protesters were peacefully advocating for improved management of load shedding schedules and clearer plans from ZESCO, the national electricity provider.

Faides TembaTemba, Country Director of ActionAid Zambia, criticized the police’s actions as a violation of constitutional rights.

“Taxpayers have the right to hold public utilities like ZESCO accountable for poor service delivery without fear of intimidation, brutality, or unwarranted arrests,” TembaTemba stated.

“The protesters were simply exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and equality, as guaranteed under Articles 20, 21, and 23 of the Zambian Constitution.”

ActionAid Zambia demands the immediate release of the detained protesters, who acted peacefully and within the law. The organization urges ZESCO to engage with citizens on load shedding concerns and enhance communication about schedules and plans.

ActionAid Zambia also questions ZESCO’s long-term planning and response strategies, especially in light of the ongoing drought impacts exacerbating power shortages.

The organization calls for solidarity among human rights defenders to support the protesters and protect their rights.

“We stand in solidarity with the ‘Fix ZESCO’ protesters and demand their immediate release. We also urge the government to ensure a democratic space for citizen participation without fear of reprisal,” TembaTemba added.

#FREE FIX ZESCO PROTESTERS

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