Today's letters to the editor

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:08:49 +0000

Judicial activism is very dangerous

Dear Editor

The refusal by High Court Judges to stay their rulings on nullification of seats is a mark of very dangerous judicial activism, because it is an attempt to truncate the appellate procedure that is imbedded in the law.

Judges Mwiinde Siavwapa and Charles Musona are certainly not right in suggesting that a stay in the event of nullification is not legally tenable.

For as long as the High Court is not the  very final arbiter in a matter, the process of  appeal allows for further determination of a matter.

If a stay can be granted in criminal cases what is so special and compelling that it should not be granted in political cases where a single judge makes a decision which must stand to scrutiny before a higher court which may be presided over by a panel of judges?

A stay is not the same thing as an acquittal.

The intention of a stay is to maintain a status quo until determination by a higher court. In this case the Constitutional Court is the final authority to make a determination as to whether or not the two Ministers  Nkandu Luo  and Margret Mwanakatwe where is such serious breach of the  constitutional code as to  have their seats nullified.

The concourt is the final authority to make this determination and not the High Court. In this case therefore the two judges should have made it possible for the higher court to make a determination, rather than refuse to grant a stay     and in the process trigger the by-election mechanism.

It is a matter of simple logic that a parliamentary petition is not over until the final court makes a final determination and in this case the concourt must make a determination. It is equally logical that the Speaker of the National Assembly and indeed the Electoral Commission of Zambia cannot set the process of by-election in motion unless and until the seat is declared officially” nullified by the  concourt.

It is in this regard that the two judges can be seen to be practicing judicial activism by attempting to truncate a system that has a logical flow.

The truth is that the High Court has power to stay judgment. This includes staying judgment in some of the most heinous cases pending a determination by a superior court.

It is not up to the Judges to determine that the appeals have no prospect of success. Supreme Court Judge Mumba made it very clear in her judgment that in a representative democracy the issue of representation should be uppermost in considering whether a stay should be granted. She granted the stay because representation was important.


Ephraim Mulondwa Regional voting to disadvantage UPND

Dear Editor,

Going by what Pastor Charles Mwape of Assemblies of God Fellowship said about regional that it is here to stay, then that spells doom to UPND.

That we should, therefore, move away and discourage regional voting is more than imperative if democracy has to thrive in Zambia.

Pastor Mwape told the Commission of Inquiry on voting pattern and political violence that regional voting has been part of the Zambian political landscape for a long time.

While the Southerners have made it plainly clear that their choice will always be a Tonga, I have heard of ‘CNN’ from Eastern Province meaning ‘Cancel Nega Nega’’ whatever that means.

So, if what Pastor Mwape said will remain the way of doing politics in Zambia, it is a sad development because it means many Zambians in ‘unfortunate’ regions will be perpertually bystanders in Zambian politics.

To be specific, if the ‘Bantu Botatwe’ takes the centre stage to face the formidable grouping of the Luapula, Eastern, Muchinga, Northern, Copperbelt, Lusaka and Central Provinces, then it is a game deva vu.

But that is not the type of politics we need in Zambia which is being promoted by a few selfish individuals to satisfy their egos.

We have politicians who strongly feel that they can only ascend to power through tribal politics but this has proved to have the opposite result.

Perhaps the best polls ever held in Zambia were those in 1991 when MMD thoroughly beat UNIP which had been in power for 27 years and the only credit to it was running the economy aground.

That aside, the voting pattern in 1991 was truly national. It did not matter whether one was Tonga, Lozi, Nsenga, Ngoni, Tumbuka or Kachokwe-they voted for President Frederick Chiluba (MHSRIP) in style. The rest you know.

That is how we should be conducting our politics and elections. We should not be basing our political power on tribal lines but on all Zambians.

So, if regional voting will be our way of doing politics, it means the 2015, 2016 and 2021 will go the same way because politics is all about numbers. This should certainly start the UPND thinking.

Moses Limbikani Tembo, Jack compound


Lusaka Mayor Kalumba angers citizen

Dear Editor,

In as much as the vote of no confidence clause has been removed from the statute books in the amended Constitution, our people in Lusaka cannot wait for five years to remove an incompetent mayor from his position.

The pools of water in the central business district cripples business for the same poor people who wake up very early in the morning daily, hours before king Wilson Kalumba is in deep sleep just to make ends meet, yet these are the people who lined up in long queues just to cast a vote for him.

It is for this reason that I am asking for intervention from the Patriotic Front as well as from the central government through the President and the Local Government Minister because the Lusaka mayor’s work culture is tantamount to economic sabotage.

Actually, if we were serious about monitoring and controls, this time Wilson Kalumba could have been charged for loss of revenue by the central government.

The owners of shops in town are willing to partner with the council to find short and long term solutions.

If other residents of the city of Lusaka are happy and have decided to keep quiet on Kalumba, as long as he continues not to work for the people who voted for him, I will keep on pushing him to man up.

Actually, the Given Lubindas, the Jean Kapatas and the Kaziyas must call for a full council meeting and recommend for the mayor’s removal.

He should not hold all of us to ransom. In fact, I appeal to the President to walk his talk on non-performing heads of government institutions by firing all those that are derailing development.

I have no doubt, my President will take my cry positively and take me as an agent of positive change for the residents of Lusaka,

Time is now to act, we can legally push for his removal or petition the ruling PF to recall him.

For now, I can wait for my President to urgently look at the issue of Lusaka mayor and act in the interest of the residents of the city of Lusaka.

Enock Chulu



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