In February,the year 2000,President FJT Chiluba was to drive on Independence Avenue from State House through Addis Ababa Road to the Airport.
The Head of State was flying out to Ethiopia for the annual Heads State African Union Summit. During the period of November,December 1999and January 2000,about four school going girl children were rapped and murdered in Chelstone area of Lusaka.
The Women Civil Society led by the NGOCC rose up and decided to protest against these heinous crimes which were being carried out without any serious undertaking by the State Police to an end and arrest the perpetrators.
Madam Inonge Wina,then Chairperson of the NGOCC,Petronella Kawandami Chisanga,Vice Chairperson provided leadership in mounting a massive women’s protest against the State Police and the MMD Government of President Chiluba along the Independence Avenue disrupting traffic and the presidential motorcade. The entire police force,from Force Headquarters descended on these poor defenseless women.
At that moment I happen to be coming from the Ministry of Lands and find the police arresting our women and throwing them in a Kasalanga in very undignified manner. I parked my car,jumped on the Kasalanga-as the poor women were being loaded on the truck “Kasalanga” I was busy offloading them and setting them free.
To cut the long story short, I was arrested together with 38 women and locked up one cell-Female cell- you heard me right-I was locked up in the female cell with 38 elderly women. These included Madam Inonge Wina,Madam Petronella Chisanga,Madam Emily Sikazwe and many others.
This mental torture of the worst kind. When went to court at Chikwa Court, I was accused number 6,Madam Inonge Wina was accused number 1,while Mrs Chisanga was accused number 2.
In the picture below,Madam Zaloumis,our lawyer,myself and Mrs Petronella Kawandami Chisanga at Chikwa Court after Magistrate Mebelo Kalima granted us bail.
We once had a very vibrant Civil Society which betrayed itself through political appointments and association. But many have just faded away due to the imperative- old age,death and time. What a wonderful time well lived.
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