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.
I am greatly troubled by President Edgar Lungu’s threats that he will “crush” members of the Patriotic Front who have dissenting views, and/or those who have reservations about the manner in which he is discharging his duties as Patriotic Front President and as President of the Republic of Zambia.
Is the President going to “crush” his political opponents personally, or is he going to engage the riff-raffs in his political party in this endeavor?
I hope the presidency has not intoxicated him to think that he can freely abuse the defence and national security organs of the government in his desire to suppress dissent and criticism within the Patriotic Front and beyond!
The defence and security organs of the government—including the Zambia Prison Service, the Zambia Police Service, the Zambia Security Intelligence Services, and the Zambia Defence Force—are non-political institutions designed to serve our beloved country and all its people.
The use of such institutions of government to silence one’s political opponents, or in any other dubious activities, would, therefore, not only be morally unacceptable but would also constitute an unconstitutional use of the institutions.
In the ensuing sections, I have cited the functions of the Zambia Defence Force and the Zambia Police Service stipulated in Articles 101 and 104 of the 1996 Republican constitution. Further, I have briefly discussed the need for our country’s armed forces to be non-partisan and apolitical in both word and deed.
The Zambia Defence Force
The functions of the Zambia Defence Force prescribed in the Republican constitution are as follows:
- To preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Zambia;
- To cooperate with civilian authorities in serving communities in emergency situations and in cases of natural disasters;
- To foster harmony and understanding between the Zambia Defence Force and civilians; and
- To engage in productive activities for the development of Zambia.
The Zambia Police Service
The Zambia Police Service is mandated to perform the following functions:
- To protect life and property;
- To preserve law and order;
- To detect and prevent crime; and
- To cooperate with civilian authorities and other security organs in serving the people and the country at large.
A Civic and Moral Obligation
Zambia’s armed forces have a civic and moral duty to participate actively in maintaining peace and stability in our beloved country, and in making a positive contribution to the viability of our country’s nascent democracy.
As Edward Shils has maintained, there is a need for military officers, intelligence officers, and the civil police in our country’s armed forces to consider themselves as being part of the “technical-executive intelligentsia,” who, together with politicized intellectuals (that is, civilian leaders), should play the role of guarantor of political stability, honesty, and discipline in government.
A major requirement in performing such a pivotal role in our country’s quest for sustained peace and stability is for members of the armed forces to be apolitical and non-partisan, and for civilian leaders to have constitutionally guaranteed control over all branches of the country’s armed forces.
Therefore, Zambia, like any other peace-loving nation worldwide, needs the services of a military establishment that is administered by a cadre of men and women who are adjudged to be patriotic, apolitical, well-disciplined, and professional in character in its quest for sustained peace and stability.
However, it would be unrealistic and imprudent to expect armed forces to be apolitical and non-partisan in serving under civilian leaders in our country—and in any other country, as a matter of fact—in the absence of a system of governance which provides for peaceful removal of flagrantly corrupt, extravagant, despotic, nepotistic, and/or grossly incompetent government officials.
Once upon a time, Sigmund Freud made the following conclusion about the violent nature of humans:
“Psychoanalysis has concluded … that the primitive, savage, and evil impulses of mankind have not vanished in any individual, but continue their existence, although in repressed state … and … wait for opportunities to display their activity.”
While this could be true about our potentially aggressive nature as humans, we expect all political leaders to make an earnest effort in overcoming their primitive, savage, and evil impulses.
They need to take the lead in heeding the free advice provided in James 1:19 and Proverbs 29:11 of the Holy Bible, which I have paraphrased as follows: Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and swift in taming your temper.
In January 2015, President Lungu was given the mandate by the people of Zambia to form government with the expectation that he would serve all citizens irrespective of their political views, political affiliations, ethnic extraction, and/or religious convictions. As such, he needs to develop a thick skin, and he should realize that criticism is a necessary nuisance in politics that cannot be wished away.
So, if he cannot withstand the heat, he should stay out of the kitchen, so to speak, because threats against his critics will very likely dare them to intensify their criticism and indignation.
He should, therefore, make an effort to be adept at the arts of politics; among other things, he needs to exhibit a high level of tact and genuine respect in his dealings with political opponents and other members of society.
Besides, he needs to develop the qualities that all national leaders need to have in their arsenal of aptitudes. Such qualities include the following: emotional stability, humility, patriotism, selflessness, impartiality, patience, compassion, tolerance, respect for the rule of law, ability to think of leadership as a temporary mandate to serve the people, ability to conceive of oneself as just another mortal with limited knowledge and aptitudes, ability to make compromises with people who have dissenting views, and the ability to accept criticism and dissent as necessary evils in public life.
By the way, it is not going to be possible for us to mitigate the rampant incidence of politically motivated violence in the intermediate term given the Republican president’s aggressive and belligerent demeanor in his dealings with political opponents.
The author, Mr. Henry Kyambalesa, is a Zambian academic currently living in the City and County of Denver in the State of Colorado, USA.
Yesterday I read Munshya wa Munshya’s INDECENT DISCRETION: WHY NCHITO’S NOLLE DEFIES BOTH LAW AND COMMON SENSE and the Daily Nation’s leader COMPROMISED LAZ EXPOSED.
I have a lot of time for Munshya’s articles. Sadly, on this one he seems to imply that decency is only for the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mr. Mutembo Mutembo and not President Edgar Lungu and his fellow road travellers. The letter and spirit of the law is clearly that a sitting DPP cannot and must not be prosecuted. This is not to say that a DPP has immunity of the type the President has. He does not have such immunity but that said, he cannot be prosecuted by laying an uninvestigated complaint to a magistrate. It is improper, indecent and illegal. It is not supported by the Republican Constitution. If you want to prosecute a sitting DPP, you should first remove him from office by doing what the constitution provides.
By ignoring the provisions of the constitution and relying on misappropriated provisions of the criminal Procedure Code, both the misguided prosecutors and the Court ended up with egg on their faces. The DPP entered a nolle. Now the Court is wondering if the nolle entered by the DPP himself is valid. Who doubts that the Holy Father is a catholic! A proper perspective of the law clearly doesn’t envisage a DPP who is facing criminal charges against him. I have heard the argument that a Tribunal is set up only when it being considered to remove a DPP. How one can expect to have a DPP who at the same time is a convict beats me!
There is a call for the law to take its course and yet those making the call are ignoring the clear provisions of the law. EL has an obligation under the constitution to invoke the authority vested in him to cause the probe into the suitability of the DPP who is beleaguered as Mutembo is. It borders on dereliction of duty on his part to pretend that he is not involved in Ng’uni’s escapade while neglecting to invoke the constitutional provisions. He is the CEO of the Republic and the buck stops with him.
It is curious that in wishing to dismantle the iniquity of the hated Cartel, those in authority are adopting the same ill-considered hate tactics of the Cartel. What a troubled precedent is being set! Years ago, the Cartel paraded military officers in civil courts on alleged offences involving State Security instead of the Court Martial; all in the name of fighting corruption. Two former Presidents had their immunity removed in both cases unprocedurally just for the Cartel to justify its self appointed role of indefatigable fighter of corruption.
LAZ was compromised when it entertained Mulusa’s misconceived complaint in the first place totally ignoring the protection of deliberations of Parliament and its Committees. Ratifying a DPP is clearly conflicted was the conundrum. The spineless cowards who did it then sought salvation in the compromised LAZ. Until the law is amended to have specific qualifications for a nolle, the one entered by Mutembo on his behalf is valid and must stand.
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.