TODAY'S LETTERS

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:36:10 +0000

LAZ is a political party

Dear Editor,

The Law Association of Zambia has become a political party. I, therefore, fully support the application for another professional body that will represent the professional interests of the legal fraternity in Zambia.

The current LAZ has no clue about assisting the country navigate through the various legal difficulties that the country is facing but would rather take confrontational political stances in support of the opposition.

This should not be the role of a professional body. Such bodies must conduct themselves with dignity and decorum to command the respect of the populace and not seek cheap political popularity with political organisations and individuals the leadership is affiliated to.

Zambians are not dull, they know the social relationships that drive certain initiatives that are disguised as being apolitical.

In this regard LAZ affiliation to the UPND is a known fact.

The affiliation of LAZ to the UPND was fully demonstrated by the joint application the two made to the Constitutional Court concerning Ministers who were serving after Parliament was dissolved.

That application was a Trojan horse intended to derail the entire election. Hakainde Hichilema said as much. He expects the Constitutional Court to annul the elections.

Zambians of goodwill will not allow this country to be derailed by selfish and power hungry individuals who are intent on usurping the will of the people.

Therefore, the current efforts to use the judiciary to supplant the will of the people will not work, and if push comes to shove, Zambians are ready to take on the powers that be.

The cartel tried and failed and nobody can succeed against the will of the people, however, powerful and cunning.

This country has a President voted into office by the people. Judges who disregard this fact, do so at their own peril because the law does not support them.

Francis Katewende

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Zambian judiciary on trial

Dear Editor,

Racism is a highly sensitive and serious issue but is nullifying Lusaka Central PF Member of Parliament Margaret Mwanakatwe’s seat for the use of an umbilical cord narrative a bit barmy?

The ruling party PF seems to think so.

A High Court Judge recently ruled that Margaret Mwanakatwe’s umbilical cord campaign message was intended to incite racial hatred and as such did break the country’s electoral and racism laws.

It has taken three months to reach this conclusion, since the UPND election petition was lodged in court, but is it the right one?

Certainly, not for the Lusaka Central PF Member of Parliament who has since appealed against the decision.

Nor for the ruling party which has said that courts should at all costs avoid the temptation of acting in a manner that would make them appear to be participating in politics.

The controversy led to the opposition UPND accusing the PF and President Edgar Lungu of controlling the judiciary by speaking against the decisions of some of the judges in the nullification of some parliamentary seats (“Judiciary compromised say UPND”, Daily Nation, November 29, 2016).

But not everybody thought this as a good and sensible sentiment, particularly that the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was on record as having declared that if he was not going to win the August 11 general elections, he was going to get his victory through the courts.

Well-meaning Zambians called this declaration ridiculous and political correctness gone mad.

There can be no doubt that the UPND leader has the capacity to offend those in authority.

Even the Constitutional Court president who presided over his presidential election petition after his lawyers dramatically abandoned him at the eleventh hour in court, was uneasy about extending the petition hearing beyond the 14-days legal jurisdiction and just shed tears.

Incidentally, PF supporters, however, are furious, and have mounted a counter-offensive to turn the two controversial judges, who hail from the same ethnic community as Hakainde Hichilema, into items of judicial scorn.

Is it a matter of the lesser of the two evils racism or tribalism? Watch Zambia’s judicial space.

Mubanga Luchembe,

LUSAKA

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When does the two term mandate end?

Dear Editor,

With many Zambian political party leaders engulfed in what has become known as the third term bid by their high ranking members, I am now wondering as to why such a scenario should be allowed if not for greediness.

Patriotic Front went to the convention to elect its leader, who is now the Republican President as mandated by the PF Party Constitution and I am wondering why the rest cannot take a leaf from that.

In politics, I have said many times that power is with the people as enshrined in various party constitutions.

It now sends a shiver through my spinal cord when I hear that some political parties don’t want to go for conventions as enshrined in their party constitutions but want to continue in leadership.

Why should a genuine political party use underhand method to change its own constitution at will when the same should only be done at a convention? Why do these leaders fear conventions?

Why are they scared to putting themselves on the chopping board for competitiveness to prove that they are actually formed on democratic tenets?

Are these political parties ‘wamuyaya parties’ for their top leaders such that they don’t know when the two term mandate ends for them to be engulfed in perpetual leadership squabbles?

How then should you champion democracy to prevail in Zambia when you fail to do the same within your own party?

Charity begins at home, so please go for a convention and allow democracy to prevail at all cost.

Failure to hold conventions by most political parties has created this scenario and it now goes to show that their failure to do so is deliberate to hold on to power.

Just thinking loudly.

Wisdom Muyunda

CHINGOLA

Can UPNDF please leave the Judiciary alone?

Dear Editor,

I wish to differ with UPND strong man Stephen Katuka who today claims that that the Judiciary is compromised.

Is it because some judges have been condemned for their utterances in their judgements recently by those in power?

Of course, some of the judgments certainly do not pass the mark and do not make sense even to the lowest layman.

How can the burying of the umbilical cord for instance be regarded racist?

But I also remember UPND leader HH calling our judges all sorts of names, yet he is currently busy using them to try and secure what he calls fair justice.

Mr Katuka, just recently some PF MPs lost their seats in some of the judges’ landmark judgements, does that still not impress you?

Sometimes, it is better to give praise where it is due instead of resorting to wholesale condemnation. That does not help anyone.

For me, I think the Judiciary has done remarkably well and perhaps that’s the more reason that the ruling PF is today crying blue murder.

I am more than sure that it is the same compromised judiciary you will be running to whenever aggrieved. So where is your point?

Let us give the men and women of the courts respect and courage so that they can perform their duties’ to the best of their abilities instead of unfair condemnation.

Moffat Zulu

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