The deterioration of rule of Law in Zambia

Police officers at Lusaka's Magistrates Court-Picture by Tenson Mkhala

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my disgust at the negative turns Zambia is taking with regards to the rule of law as demonstrated by on going treason case against HH and his co-accused. Below is my opinion. I will appreciate if you have the space to publish it.

Whether PF, UPND or whatever party you might belong to, at one point we have to realize that we are all Zambian and that the actions of our current leaders will make or break this country. I know some of you will tell me I say this because I sympathise with HH and the UPND but believe me you, this goes beyond party lines. This is a matter of what kind of Zambia I want to see today, tomorrow and the years to come.

I do not desire a country where those entrusted with the affairs of the nation use and abuse the power that comes with their positions to harass and oppress those with dissenting views and manipulate state institutions and processes in order to advance their agendas to hold on to power and wade of any legitimate challenge using force.

The unfortunate thing about all these happenings in Zambia is that it proves the saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And to truly reinforce this saying, in Zambia, you can add that power actually blinds the sight of these leaders. There have been so many examples of past leaders who thought they could do whatever they wanted while in office and never imagined themselves being on the other side of the fence but alas, once they were out, justice and injustice caught up with them too. The injustice they perpetuated against others caught up with them because while they ate, drunk, enjoyed power and ruthlessly victimized others, they forgot to enact laws that would protect every Zambian, including themselves and their children once they were out of power.

The kind of short sighted leadership that I see displayed in Zambia, government after government, is very worrying and it is a clear indication that we are not yet ready to take off on the path of development and guarantee of liberties for every citizen. Our leaders are so focused on protecting themselves and preserving power that they are so consumed in themselves. They don’t even realise that focussing so much on holding on to that power actually makes it slip away and, how do you even enjoy power if you are looking over your shoulder all the time because you know that a good part of country legitimately accepts you, because that’s the fate brutal dictators find themselves in.

If there is independence and respect of the judicial system in Zambia, then someone tell me why HH and his co-accused have been transferred to Mukobeko prison without any form of judicial review of the court order issued by a legitimate judge that the accused shall be detained at Chimbokaila until the case is determined in court? Who issued the order to have the accused transferred? I mean, they were airlifted, there must be someone really high up who issued this order and cleared an air force chopper to move the accused to Kabwe.

It sets a very dangerous precedence in our country and it really saddens me not necessarily that HH and his co-accused are at Mukobeko but the manner in which all this is being done and the abrogation of laws of the republic and the disregard for the rights of the citizens. HH and his co-accused are Zambian citizens and they deserve to be accorded all the rights they are entitled to as citizens, after all, they are innocent until proven guilty or did that change in Zambia. Did committing a case to the High court imply conviction?

It is a very sad state of affairs!

Concerned

         

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