ZAMBIAN POLICE, last week dispersed hundreds of women demonstrating against the reported use of prostitutes at an exclusive hotel for members of parliament.
The women converged at the cabinet office, where they attempted to hold a protest march, demanding the resignation of a deputy minister who was quoted in the local press supporting the deputies involved in bringing callgirls.
“They didn’t get any police permit to stage a demonstration. That is why we stopped them,” said Greenwell Nguni, a commanding officer for Lusaka.
Jonas Shakafuswa, a deputy finance minister, was quoted as saying there was nothing wrong with parliamentarians from sleeping with call-girls so long as they can pay.
“If you are poor and cannot buy sex, let people with money do that...,” Shakafuswa was quoted by the local press as having said after an opposition MP raised the issue in parliament. He later apologised for his statement saying he was drunk.
Nguni said he allowed the representatives of the women organisations to submit their petition to Vice-President Rupiah Banda at the cabinet office without marching on the streets.
President Levy Mwanawasa said it was “disgraceful” for the members of parliament to have turned the exclusive hotel built for their comfort into an immoral place.
The president said he would wait for the results of an investigation launched by the speaker of the National Assembly before he could take action on the matter.