Mwansa Mulenga Honourable Chishimba Kambwili i wanted to ask something on education. I am a medical Student based in Ukraine and like the 100s other Zambian Medical student based here..we are on self sponsorship. We are not here because our families are well to do but most of us are able to pay fees because the Universities allow us to pay in installments..Our friends from other african countries like Namibia have contracts with their governments in which they have loan schemes that are given to them and at the end of study are meant to work for the Govt Hospitals for a period of time to pay back the loan the moneys..like that more people are able to to study medicine and the govt is ale to have more doctors because in africa shortage of medical personnel is common. Zambian students in Russia hae bursaries which we hae tried to pursue but failed..so my question is cant the government offer loan schemes to students who are willing provided they work for the govt hospitals when back as opposed to working abroad. We not even asking for monthly allowances just loan schemes for fees.
Category Archives: News
Political violence, alongside tribalism, is becoming domicile in our political arena. While the occurrences of political violence are not as rampant as the discussions and apprehension of vice, the situation is increasingly worrisome.
Political violence will grow if all the political leaders do not take a more effective approach. Political leaders must show unequivocal antipathy towards violence. Violence will never stop if leaders pay a lip service and finger pointing.
We appreciate President Edgar Lungu’s status against violence whereby he has even warned his cadres to refrain. However, we still insist that more has to be done than mere talks. There have to be measures taken within the party to show seriousness. Such as disciplining cadres that involve themselves in violence within the party structures other than just leaving it to the police.
While we appreciate the concerns by President Hakainde Hichilema of United Party for National Development (UPND) over the political violence we uptight by the manner in which he is delivering his message. Other than quenching violence, his message might incense violence. A perception is being created that the Patriotic Front (PF) is out to brutalize and kill the UPND members. Such remarks by any political leader can be very inciting and provocative.
We also urge Mr. Hakainde to walk the talk by helping the police with investigations on the violence and theft which occurred at Cresta Golfview because his personal security officers were involved.
Further we doubt the capability of our Police for failure to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators of violence. Something must be seriously wrong in the police because crimes which are committed in broad daylight in the presence of a crowd are not being adequately resolved.
The failure by the police to effectively deal with crime attracts criticism, innuendos and speculations that the Government is abetting criminals. We need to see more capability and effectiveness from the police.
As we offer condolences to the UPND and family member for the loss of the Grayzer Matapa, we would like exhort the police to expedite their investigations and quickly inform the public what really happened and bring all culprit to book so that they face the law.
Transparency on Political Parties and NGOs/CSOs funding
Political parties and NGOs/CSOs are there to serve the people in transparency and integrity. This is why on our part we are insisting that the source of funding must be disclosed. This should start with the ruling party and all other parties.
NGOs/CSOs must also follow suit as they say he who comes for equity must come with clean hands. As an organisation we have tolled to find funders and most of the times we do not conclude out deals because our agenda is to serve the people but many funders have their own interests attached to their money.
The issue of funding must not be overlooked or ignored because it determines the future of the organisation and consequently the people. Political leaders and NGOs/CSOs become stooges of those who fund them instead of being independent to determine the future of the people.
Sooner than later we might see more division in PF because a lot of people that gave so much to the party and grumbling on the sides to be given what is due to them before the poor voters get anything.
We therefore call upon the citizens to insist that we have a law to compile political parties and NGOs/CSOs to declare their funding for transparency.
Constitution Making Process
The issue of the constitution is becoming like an old boring song. It is now a month since President Edgar Lungu went into office but nothing has moved. We urge the President to move on this issue by setting up a team of citizen representatives to look at the way forward.
Our proposal is that his process start moving but not rushing to finish it, because it is not just about a New Constitution but a quality of this new document. We are rather concerned with the emotional spirited and political attitude being exhibited by the Grand Coalition to enact a new constitution before 2016 through a referendum without serious contemplate a number of factors that goes with such a demand. It is important that we are reasonable and realistic in our demands.
We are also uncomfortable with the political blackmail that is going along the Constitutional making process. We have to be careful that politicians will ride on anything that can give them power but it is certainly no guarantee that they will deliver. Therefore collective efforts like that of the Grand Coalition would be better off without the political parties so that they carry the agenda of the people other than being influenced by the political parties.
It is clear that the majority of Zambians are going through a lot of hardships ranging from food, healthcare, shelter, education and other essentials needed for human well-being. While we appreciate the efforts by Government to put in place the infrastructure necessarily for development, there is an urgent need to save lives.
There seem to be no short term policies address the suffering of many Zambians. While we are looking for investors to come and build industries and other businesses, people need to eat, access healthcare and other essentials.
President Edgar Lungu must be forewarned that PF may not stand a chance in the next tripartite elections if the status quo remains unchanged. The last Presidential election results back this point unequivocally. PF should not think that their policies have impressed the majority Zambians because they are suffering.
We urge our President not to get comfortable in State House, he has to be more aggressive than what we have seen in the last one month to make things move. He has not time to sit in State House and get reports from his ministers because some of them don’t just care and they will fail him.
God bless Zambia
Parliament will open on Tuesday 24th February 2015 with a number of changes. This will be the first time H.E Edgar Lungu will be delivering his Presidential Speech in the House.
We will also have changes in sitting arrangement, notably Dr. Guy Scott will take the back bench from being the leader of the House while our first Vice President Inonge Wina takes over.
Subject to confirmation, Parliament composition of MPs will be as follows:
Four constituencies are vacant : Chawama, Malambo, Mulobezi and Petauke
Note that about 5 opposition members (plus more) are working with Government. This makes the PF very strong to have a field day in Parliament on almost any motion when it comes to voting.
As citizens, it would be good to have a list of issues that we would like parliament to debate. Due limited resources as an organisation, we can only ask those of you, who are able to read this to make your suggestions so that we can see how we can push your agenda, though we are very limited.
Members of Parliaments are not there to do whatever they please in the House but the aspirations of citizens. Citizens need to engage them and make sure they represent them adequately and correctly. Make sure you access them wherever you for issues concerning you as a citizen.
The nolle prosequi entered by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has shocked many but before we prejudice anyone, it might be good to properly reflect on the issue.
Basically the nation is grappling with the issue of how to deal with the DPP who has been accused of various crimes and misconducts in his personal capacity and as a public officer.
On one side we have a challenge on our constitution while on the other we have common law or natural justice fighting to be recognized.
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY ON REMOVAL OF THE DPP FROM OFFICE?
According to article 58 of the constitution of Zambia, it states that:
58(2) A person holding the office of Director of Public Prosecutions may
be removed from office only for incompetence or inability to perform
the functions of his office whether arising from infirmity of body or
mind or misbehaviour and shall not be so removed except in accordance
with the provisions of this Article.
(3) If the President considers that the question of removing a person
holding the office of Director of Public Prosecutions from office ought
to be investigated, then-
(a) he shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of a Chairman and
not less than two other members, who hold or have held high
(b) the tribunal shall inquire into the matter and report on the facts
thereof to the President and advise the President whether the
person holding the office of Director of Public Prosecutions
ought to be removed from office under this Article for
incompetence or inability or for misbehaviour.
In simple terms article 58(2) is saying the DPP can only be removed if he is incompetent or sick or has misbehaved. The question is what did the crafters of the law have in mind when they used the word misbehavior? Misbehavior is such a general terms which can covers all sorts of trivial transgressions to the most grievous cases. This possesses a weakness in our constitution because it is ambiguous.
HAS MR. NCHITO MISBEHAVED?
Article 58(3) is unequivocal that if the President considers that the DPP need to be removed, such a person ought to be investigated. The question again comes in, who should investigate the DPP? We can further ask, has Mutembo Nchito been investigated and found to have misbehaved? If so, by who?
We can assume that Mr. N’guni and his lawyers did some serious investigations to come up with charges. However, it is still not clear if they are the right people to do this investigation prescribed in the law.
The law suggests that only after an investigation has been done can the President appoint the tribunal to report facts of what would have been investigated earlier.
WHAT DOES MR. NEWTON N’GUNI WANTS OF MUTEMBO NCHITO?
Mr. N’guni through his lawyers Makebi Zulu, Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri wants Mutembo Nchito to be prosecuted of:
- Procuring execution of document by false pretences,
- Uttering a false document,
- Fraudulent contracting of debt,
- Contempt of court
- False swearing
The misdemeanors have been outlined and extrapolated into 9 counts.
DOES THE MOVE OF MR. N’GUNI RESONATE WITH THE PROVISION OF ARTICLE 58?
This is one of the constitutional contentions of Mr. Nchito in the proceedings and it might be prejudicial to debate on it publicly. However, one can read what the law states and what is being sort by Mr. N’guni to arrive at some reasonable conclusion.
Regardless of the conclusion drawn above, it must be noted that the charges drawn by Mr. N’guni are serious which need to be dealt with in the interest of justice. If Mr. Nchito did commit offenses, he must be made to answer for them. Otherwise he must be cleared.
Therefore procedural glitches should not obscure the seriousness of the offenses alleged and the need for justice to be done.
WHAT ABOUT THE SELF NOLLE PROSEQUI ENTERED BY THE DPP?
The Lusaka Magistrate Lameck Mwale found himself is a very awkward situation when Mr. Nchito dramatically and ingeniously pulled out a nolle for himself from the dock. Mr. Nchito was relaying on the provision of the constitution which gives him powers as follows:
56 (3) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall have power in any case
which he considers it desirable so to do-
(a) to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any
person before any court, other than a court-martial, in respect of
any offence alleged to have been committed by that person;
(b) to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings as may
have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or
(c) to discontinue, at any stage before judgment is delivered, any
such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or
any other person or authority.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF NOLLE PROSEQUI?
Nolle Prosequi is not there for the purpose of frustrating the due process of justice but to make sure justice is done. It must also be borne in mind that justice includes all processes and procedures of our justice system. If any of the processes or procedures is omitted or overlooked, this constitutes persecution and not prosecution.
In the case of Mr. Nchito, it is a fact that allegations have been levied against him, however, there are questions to be answered, especially that which relates to the constitution as to whether the due process of the law has been followed by Mr. N’guni and his lawyers.
It is injustice to flout the processes and procedures of our justice system for a haste conviction or freeing anyone of a crime. If procedures are circumvented, everything possible must be done in the interest of justice.
However, our courts get a serious challenge when the constitutional law cross paths with common law such as where a DPP who has to enter a nolle if he thinks that the procedure has been faulted in respect to himself and he decide to save himself.
Nemo judex in causa sua (or nemo judex in sua causa) is a Latin phrase that means, literally, no-one should be a judge in his own cause. It is a principle of natural justice that no person can judge a case in which they have an interest. The rule is very strictly applied to any appearance of a possible bias, even if there is actually none; Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.
As an organisation that fights for justice for all, we feel we have an obligation to protect any citizen who faces injustice at any point. Mr. Nchito is a human being and a citizen, therefore he deserves to be treated justly and we will endeavor to see justice done for him.
However, this should be a point of reflection for Mr. Nchito and many other people of influence who have power to decide the destiny of others especially the poor. The World moves in a circle and you just never know what tomorrow will bring. Do your best to be just, kind, compassionate and considerate to others regardless who they are.
While Mr. Nchito and other powerful people cling on to the constitution and procedures, the poor have nothing to hold on to when they are dragged in the mud of injustice. They rot in police custodies and prisons for trivial or no offense without anyone to look into their predicaments.
Justice is for all not just people with influence and power. May God save the poor who are facing injustice right now.
CONSTITIONA MAKING PROCESS
We are startled that the Government has continued making statements on the Constitutional Making Process (CMP) instead of progressing by putting up an inclusive team to oversee the process.
Government is implicating itself and thereby attracting unnecessary confrontation and criticisms with other stakeholders by suggesting ways and modalities under which the new Constitution should be enacted.
Government must realize that this CMP is a national agenda which should include all stakeholders along the way and at each stage. Government must only facilitate and not to unilaterally or exclusively make suggestions in abyss, unless within a well-defined structure so that other citizens can debate appropriately on the process.
It is therefore important that Government quickly appoint an inclusive and reasonable team of citizens’ representative to start looking at the way forward on the CMP. This team should then sit and decide on issues like the roadmap, legal framework, time factor, budget and other related matters. In this way, Government will not attract rivalry like the one that seem to exist with some sections of society.
Further we note with concern that there are people or groupings that want to claim monopoly on the CMP by dictating how the new constitution must be enacted. We call upon all those claiming supremacy of knowledge to humble themselves and realize that there are many citizens out there who may have alternate views which must be taken on board.
We hope Government will call for a consultative discussion on the composition of the team that will steer the CMP going forward and not exchange of words between the Grand coalition and Government because they both do not unilaterally or exclusively own the process, but all Zambians.
2016 ELECTIONS IN SUSTANANCE OF DEMOCRACY
We congratulate the Zambian citizens for conducting Presidential elections in a peaceful manner. However, we would like to look forward to next year’s tripartite elections. We note that there are many issues that need to be looked at to prepare these elections.
This year’s Presidential election was marred by high voter apathy which needs to be addressed so that the trend is not repeated.
There is also an urgent need for Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to update its voter register and tighten up the process of conducting elections.
We are note that last Presidential election was characterized by a lot of acrimony, machinations and legal battles to arrive at a Presidential candidate of political parties.
We would like to call upon all political parties to do an in-house clean up to avoid similar ugly situations we faced prior to 20th January election.
It is common knowledge that parties like the ruling party Patriotic Front (PF) still has some issues to sort out after their last convention where they elected their President. Some members of the party might need to seek a fresh mandate after being elected in 2011.
The United Party for National Development (UPND) also needs to go throw a convention to give confidence to the Zambian people that they indeed uphold intra-party democracy. A repeated floating of a candidate at national level without subjecting him to a convention can have negative impact on the performance of the party in an election.
The former Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) must also sit down to show maturity and institutionalism to sort out its internal wrangles to compete and participate effectively on the political dispensation of our Country.
We also hope that other parties will abide to their constitutions to participate consistently in offering check and balances to the ruling party other than being latent only to resurface when there is an election.
We welcome the new political parties which will be participating in the elections next year, especially the Rainbow Party and those that may come on board. Political competition must be encouraged so that citizens have a political choice.
TRANSPERANCY ON POLITICAL AND NGOs/CSOs FUNDING
Having had started the campaign on transparency on resource mobilization, we still insist that a law be pasted to compile political parties to declare their source of funding to avoid mortgaging the Nation. We are of a strong view that part of the reason why political parties fail to adhere to their manifestos is as a result of external influence from those that would have supported the party to win an election.
We believe that many political leaders are held at ransom by their funders thereby fail to break from the yoke of corruption in the bid to reciprocate the favours they would have received from external funders.
This transparency in resource mobilization must also be extended to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Faith based Organisations (FBOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and Trustees to avoid exposing the Zambian people to undue influence from foreign interests. It is a fact that some donors and cooperating partners are sponsoring some organisations to influence political direction of our Country.
Zambians must be left to choose their destiny without undue influence. Zambia belongs to Zambians.
May God bless our Country.
Fellow Zambians, especially us politicians, lets stop dividing our peaceful and united people for the sake of our selfish political benefits, government appointments and contracts.
It is unacceptable to always resort to undesirable labels such as ethnicity against our opponents each time we lose an argument in the political debate arena.
Poverty and hunger as a result of a badly managed economy does not choose one’s origins. It affects all of us equally.
One issue that we dealt with on our Radio Phoenix programme yesterday was that of the voting pattern in the just ended election.
For the record and for the sake of those that missed the programme, I thought it is important we put this matter into context though, I know for malicious reasons, others will still keep bringing it up.
Records are there for all to see that in the 2011 presidential and general election, we in UPND were getting zero votes in three quarters of the polling stations in Luapula, Northern (then combined with now Muchinga), and Eastern provinces.
In all our postmortem meetings after the 2011 elections, we clearly realized our mistake of not having put enough effort in terms of selling ourselves in those areas. But at no time did we demonise anybody from those regions as being tribalists for not voting for us.
All well-meaning Zambians who care to remember will recall that we started putting a lot of our energies in those areas even when we faced brutality at the hands of those who felt we should not disturb what they labeled their strongholds.
Many will remember how we were brutally hounded out of Eastern Province by the police barely one week in the area even when we had permits for one month.
You will remember how we were chased from meeting then Chitimukulu elect in Northern province, that even the police could not help us.
You will remember how we were almost assassinated at Ndola’s Sun FM studios on the Copperbelt where we had to pass through rooftops to escape.
But, in all instances, instead of resorting to undesirable labels against our people, we kept going there, because we truly believed our good people in those areas had been told a lot of undesirable messages on what we stand for.
In the just ended 2015 elections, we deliberately devoted three quarters of our time and resources in Eastern, Muchinga, Northern, Copperbelt and Luapula Provinces visiting almost all the constituencies so that our people could genuinely interact and understand us.
It therefore defeats the spirit of ‘One Zambia, One nation, One People that we genuinely believe in for someone to demonise our people in those regions (Copperbelt, Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt, Eastern Provinces) that voted for us this time around and label them as traitors for believing in our messages.
Besides, these are our brothers and sisters in these areas who even today, some have probably not been paid their money for farming, majority have failed to plant this season, they have failed to send their children to schools, they can hardly afford basic necessities because of the high cost of living, yet they were still expected to vote in a particular manner.
As a solid UPND team, we may have our own shortcomings, but we had and truly believe we still have superior messages and better solutions for our country.
It is also a fact that our main competitors never campaigned in certain regions, yet the people in those areas were still expected to vote for them.
And based on our postmortem and lessons for the 2015 elections, we are again embarking on the same journey of thanking and uniting our people all over the country as we amplify our messages.
God Bless you all and have a wonderful day