By Richard Mulonga

PERSONALLY, I was going to participate joyfully in the booing extravaganza had I been at Heroes Stadium during HH’s inauguration ceremony this week.

I am a citizen of Zambia and I am entitled to my views and opinions etc. The truth is that leaders and their teams that become a danger to democracy in a free society deserve to be called out.

Remember the Bill 10 thriller, which proposed a manipulative third term for the President and arrogant leaders like Tutwa Ngulube became?

What about the arbitrary arrests and detentions? Silencing, beatings and shutting down media houses? Journalism literally died!

The retirements of young, vibrant and innocent citizens from their jobs in the public institutions. The harassment of civil servants from their offices by cadres.

The arrogance and violence on innocent, defenceless and unarmed citizens. Gassings saga remains unexplained?

What about the intolerance to divergent views and opinions like the one you are reading right now?

The contaminated propaganda about tribalism, nepotism and all that pure lies gashing their teeth? Leaders must know when it is time to pack and go, they should do that proudly. You may now like this opinion, but this is what defines democracy.

We all know that frustrations had bottled up to the brim among citizens and they could not express themselves because of fear. They waited for elections.

They waited for the handover of power and the man who was at the helm when freedoms etc were under siege shows up, albeit without power.

That booing at Heroes Stadium was very necessary, relevant and just one opportunity to defuse that which had put citizens between a rock and a hard place. In literature, we say, “citizens have the right to offend and be vulgar”!

That booing was just a civic duty and freedom within democratic norms and standards where citizens have the right to express themselves using whatever platform and whatever accepted symbols etc.

Just nature itself saw the former President parade himself before the excited crowd and it was rare occasion where anyone who had a voice and energy participated in sending a clear message that the audience was no longer clapping during that not so thunderous exit for him.

It was also a clear message to the incoming leadership that ultimately, power lies with the masses, we the people. I’m not a sad man as I write this.