wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09LUSAKA693 2009-10-07 15:15:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lusaka
Cable title:  

ZAMBIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS CALL OFF

Tags:   PGOV KCOR ZA 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO4553
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLS #0693 2801515
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 071515Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7329
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L LUSAKA 000693 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2019
TAGS: PGOV KCOR ZA
SUBJECT: ZAMBIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS CALL OFF
HONKING PROTESTS

REF: A. LUSAKA 689

B. LUSAKA 684

C. LUSAKA 583

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires, a.i. Michael Koplovsky for reasons
1.
4 (b,d)



1. (U) Representatives from nine of 18 Zambian Civil Society
Organizations (CSOs) suspended their honking-and-whistling
protest campaign (ref A) October 6 following a meeting with
Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde. The CSOs
further announced at a October 7 press conference that they
would re-launch their anti-corruption effort October 14 as
the "Freedom and Justice Campaign" to continue pressuring the
GRZ to appeal former president Frederick Chiluba's corruption
case. The CSOs publicly denied GRZ accusations that donor
countries had sponsored their campaign (ref B) and vowed to
continue their campaign "without breaking any law."



2. (C) Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Director
Elijah Rubvuta told PolOff October 7 that police first
demanded, then pleaded with CSO representatives during their
closed-door meeting to stop their weekly
honking-and-whistling campaign. He said that police
officials pressured CSOs to sign a joint communique to stop
honking; however, CSOs resisted over concerns that their
constituents needed to review it and provide input. The Post
newspaper reported October 7 that the CSOs would only sign if
police dropped charges unconditionally against nine arrested
protesters (ref A). Rubvuta confirmed that CSO
representatives had signed the communique October 7; Zambian
police have not yet dropped charges against the nine
arrestees.



3. (C) A copy of the communique provided by Rubvuta stated
that: "The meeting has resolved that honking has been halted
with immediate effect. Alternatively, both parties agreed to
seek other legal options to air their grievances by holding
public rallies and peaceful public demonstations as well as
submitting petitions to relevant authorities and continue
promoting dialogue with parties concerned. Further, police
have been urged to exercise their functions and apply the law
firmly and fairly as opposed to certain cases where police
were found wanting in their application of law and order."



4. (C) COMMENT: Although Civil Society Organizations
officially abandoned a symbolic form of protest without
wringing tangible concessions from the GRZ, one of the
organizers of the honking campaign assured EmbOffs that many
protesters would continue to wear black, honk, car horns, and
whistle every Friday evening. The GRZ can legally shut down
any public rallies and demonstrations held without legal
authorization, which requires seven days notice. Moreover,
Rubvuta confirmed that GRZ officials refused to discuss an
appeal of former president Chiluba's recent acquittal (ref C)
and focused solely on silencing the CSOs' noisy protest
campaign. The CSOs' announcement that they would re-launch
their anti-corruption effort as the "Freedom and Justice
Campaign" buys them some time to regroup and reconsider their
legal and political options. However, their concession was a
win for the GRZ and a setback to civil society's efforts to
fight corruption and voice their dissent. END COMMENT.
KOPLOVSKY