We are not trying to justify the booing of President Lungu in Monze over the weekend. We believe there are more decent ways of expressing one’s displeasure with others.
But the PF must be the last group of people to be offended by this behavior. Because the PF are the masters of these unsavory actions. The PF have dressed dogs in MMD and UPND regalia. They have called Rupiah Banda ‘nyama soya’, Hakainde Hichilema ‘calculator boy and under 5 politician’ George Kunda ‘red lipped snake’, Anderson Mazoka ‘falling trousers’ and so on and so forth. In fact in the case of Kunda and Mazoka the PF cared none that the two men were struggling with illness.
Look at the amount of mockery and persecution the people of Southern province have endured at the hands of the PF. In fact, at that same event at which President Lungu was officiating in Monze, a senior civil servant was freely ridiculing the people of Southern province right in front of the President. Most likely because he knew the President would enjoy hearing those divisive words. If the PF gives the people of Southern province so much hatred, why do they except love in return?
Its also political opportunism to want to turn the mocking of the President by a handful of Monze residents into a tribal issue. President Lungu was first booed right here in Lusaka in Heroes Stadium, soon after he was first elected in 2015, when power went off in the stadium due to loadshedding. Which tribe was to blame then? The President was also booed in Harare during the inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa. Did the people of Zimbabwe boo President Lungu on tribal grounds or because they were unhappy with his alleged overtures in the political process of that country?
What about the PF’s provocation of the UPND, through the police, of defacing and pulling down of UPND paraphernalia in Monze a day before the President’s event? If there is any such law, why then doesn’t the police pull down PF paraphernalia all across the country?
And having said all this, it’s most important to remember that the right to boo is constitutionally guaranteed under the freedom of expression. At least that’s the norm in any truly democratic society.