Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:31:24 +0000
By Wallen Simwaka
THE brazen threats and attacks on the Judiciary by the Patriotic Front (PF) is part of the larger scheme by the ruling party to turn Zambia into a one-party State, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) has charged. FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said in a statement yesterday that the PF was trying to ‘‘bamboozle the Judiciary’’ in the same manner the ruling party was allegedly doing to other institutions of governance. According to Mr Mwanza, the governing party had adopted what he termed ‘‘managed democracy’’ which by definition was a system of governance where citizens were allowed to participate in elections but were systematically denied a chance to meaningfully participate in the running of affairs of the State. Mr Mwanza alleged that the PF was systematically excluding the masses from decision-making and decision-implementation processes and that anyone who tried to raise dissent was silenced and suppressed. “The PF is trying to bamboozle the Judiciary in the same way they are bamboozling all other institutions of governance such as the media, the police, ECZ, among others so that they can take full control of the State and ensure that no one is there to hold them accountable. ‘‘They want to continue stealing and abusing State resources with impunity. In short, they want to turn this country into a one-party State where only they and them have to decide and do whatever they want and the rest of us become mere spectators in the running of State affairs,” he said. Mr Mwanza said the FDD had never heard the PF complain against the courts each time judgments went their way such as the case of Chongwe and Itezhi-tezhi constituencies. He alleged that the governing party was attempting to intimidate and influence the Constitutional Court to overturn the nullification of Munali and Lusaka Central parliamentary seats and ensure that all the other petitions before the courts were ruled in favour of PF. “It should be noted that unlike the other arms of Government that are composed of politicians, the Judiciary comprises individuals who are mandated by law to be impartial and apolitical. The Judiciary has a duty of not only interpreting the law but also to create laws through precedents or cases. ‘‘The Judiciary is the only arbiter that can give everyone a right to be heard and trying to turn the Judiciary into a branch of PF is wrong and unacceptable. The Judiciary must serve everyone without fear or favour in order to ensure justice and the rule of law,” Mr Mwanza said. He claimed that it was an indisputable fact that Professor Nkandu Luo and Margaret Mwanakatwe were illegally holding on to their offices as Cabinet ministers long after the dissolution of Parliament and allegedly used public resources for their campaigns. Mr Mwanza claimed that the PF ran a violent campaign particularly in Lusaka and challenged the ruling party to prove in court that the allegations were not true. “The scary truth is that PF is really serious in its quest to turn this country into a one-party State and it’s up to every patriotic Zambian to stand up and resist this unbecoming behaviour or else they will erode all the democratic gains we have so far achieved,” Mr Mwanza claimed.