A Revolution Called Justice for Vespers! | Mainstream Blog

A Revolution Called Justice for Vespers!

Anguished... A clear cut depiction of a heavy laden people. Knee weakening news, succeeded by gut wrenching grief, was the reality of many Zambians on the night of October the 5th, 2018. Young and promising, Vespers Shimunzhila's life was taken away ruthlessly, and the people were beyond gutted.

At first thought, it all seemed to be a perfectly written tragic story. This story as many wish it to be, was no tale but a sad reality. A young hopeful girl, from a small Zambian village called Namwala, set to change her narrative and that of her family by attending university, gone. Only a few months before her graduation.

Unza Student.

The fateful occurrence was a product of  a series of events at the University of Zambia (UNZA). Withholding of student meal allowances by the government, sparked a student demonstration that saw the invasion of the Great East Road, inhibiting the passage of vehicles. Informed of the situation, the police arrived to the scene to disband the protesters, resulting in a chaotic chase into campus. And it was during this time that a police officer shot a teargas canister into female hostels, one of which was set ablaze and the other being Vespers', filled with gas. Unable to breathe due to the teargas, Vespers Shimunzhila suffocated, losing her life that night. As opposed to multiple news media reports, her family confirms she had no medical history of Asthma.

The cry of the youth has never been louder. Unity never more profound. "Injustice!", they all call, standing firmly in their pursuit. "A police officer took an innocent life, and our leaders could not be quieter. "Where is the justice?" Many asked. "Is there humanity in our leadership?" Others worried.

All Black Student Demonstration.

As if the deafening silence from key figures wasn't enough, reports on the occurrence were extremely vague and blatant. With most of them grossly spread amongst having the wrong facts, blaming the students or politicizing the matter. But, in all of this, the UNZA students sought to find justice, hence forth creating a new wave revolution hashtaged #JusticeForVespers. A movement that inspired the creation of a nonprofit called Voice of Vespers, an organization dedicated to ensuring justice prevails for  the once promising  young  lady.

Though the students were expected to quiver at the thought of the armed forces, they stood in peaceful protest. All black was the agenda of the day, as they took to the streets and the house of mourning. Little did they know that they took too to the hearts of the people, uncaging a voice to fight for the voiceless. Could this be the beginning of an outspoken people, who do not sit in silence in the face of injustice?

The avoidable death of Vespers Shimunzhila, a hopeful girl from a small village and final year student, within the confines of her hostel has shaken the nation's core. As a people, silence has not been the adopted option in the pursuit of justice for Vespers.

Vespers Shimunzhila.

"Vespers was meant to leave university with a degree, but was only awarded a death certificate... A coffin." ~ Pastor Evans Manjimela.

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