POLICE in Lusaka have arrested PF information and publicity chairperson Raphael Nakacinda in relation to a complaint against him on allegations that he promoted hate speech against Tonga speaking people.
And Lusaka Lawyer Makebi Zulu says what Nakacinda said is not an insult, it means ignorance.
Meanwhile, PF member Emmanuel Mwamba says President Hakainde Hichilema’s emotional display at his press conference is a matter of worry.
In a statement, Monday, Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga confirmed Nakacinda’s arrest.
“Police have apprehended Raphael Nakachinda aged 43.This is in connection to a matter where we received a complaint from Bruce Kanema against him on allegations that he promoted hate speech against the Tonga speaking people and is further alleged to have defamed the Republican President in a video that has been widely circulated.Two dockets of case have since been opened,” stated Hamoonga.
And addressing the media shortly after visiting his client at Kabwata police station, Zulu said Ubututu meant ignorance, and it wasn’t an insult.
He also expressed worry that police might not act independently due to President Hichilema’s remarks.
“We have finally managed to see our client and yes, he is in high spirits and we have gotten our instructions. But from the look of things and the presser that the President had, it is clear that the police may not act independently because in the words of the President, ‘they must pay for what they said’. So we are looking at alternatives that we have and possibly go to court because we know they will not attend to him today. We came in the morning and they assured us that they will be here but they never came through. The police deposited him here and gave instructions that no one should see him including the lawyers. We were not given access to him, it is just now that we have managed to see him. But he is in high spirits. We know our client is innocent, he has that freedom of expression,”Zulu said.
“What he said is different from what the President has said in his press briefing to say that he said ‘picked a foolish man as it were’. Ubututu simply means a person who is ignorant and ignorance should be understood in the context that he used it and not necessarily foolishness. We hope the police will be able to advise and say this actually means something else and not what the President thinks. We hope he gets a fair process in this regard, we hope he does. If anything threatens that fair process, we will not hesitate but to engage the courts. No charge, no arrests.”
Zulu said it was possible for Nakacinda to be transferred to Solwezi, and doing so would be illegal.
“Those rumors remain rumors but with the sentiments that are there, that is a possibility. But the truth is if a person is said to have committed an offense in Kabwata, I should be in Kabwata where he should be arrested, it is a location that gives jurisdiction to a magistrate. They can’t take him to Solwezi and say he will be tried in Solwezi because the report was in Solwezi. The place where the offence is alleged to have been committed is here in Lusaka and so it should be here in Lusaka. Anything outside that would be illegal and we will know it is persecution,” said Zulu.
Meanwhile, Mwamba said President Hichilema’s emotional display was a matter of worry.
“We reiterate that the constant reference to matters in court by the Head of State is regrettable. The President should desist from discussing individuals’ personalities and matters that are in court. They are prejudicial, there are sub judice. So I think the emotional display by the President at his press conference is also another matter of worry. I think the President should stick to issues, he should not display the kind of emotions we saw today,” he said.
“I have been with you here I think since 09:00 O’clock at the police station and Mr Nakacinda has not been attended to, it has taken us almost four hours for us to see him. There are these concerns that the matter has not been processed. They are using the law to punish Nakacinda. That is not the purpose of the law. This is what we even say in the fight against corruption. Do not use it as a tool to fight our opponents, to punish your opponents or to attempt to destroy the opposition.”
Mwamba advised the President to desist from commenting on matters before court.
“On the issue of the KCM former liquidator, there are concerns there. The President keeps saying whoever could have done this is on their own but the buck stops with the President. Why hasn’t he cracked the whip, why hasn’t he fired those people that probably gave immunity to Milingo? So you see duplicity. In one breath, the President says they are on their own, in the other, he is not dealing with the matters. So there is a sense of disappointment,” said Mwamba.
Meanwhile, PF chairperson for legal affairs Brian Mundubile expressed worry that the doctrine of separation of powers might be threatened.
“We are further worried that the doctrine of separation of powers may be threatened given what the President was talking about. The President was making reference to new people at DEC, new people at ACC, and the new chief justice. We really don’t know what that meant. If you were to draw a golden thread through what the President said, it raises more questions than answers and we are saying if this country is going to be governed through using the rule of the law as the President himself proclaims, it must be done by respecting the doctrine of separation of powers,” he said.
“The Judiciary must be distinct from the executive. But the statements that the President was making when he was addressing the nation are now living much to be desired. We want to encourage the President that indeed he desires to govern this country using the rule of law, let him respect the different organs of the state going forward. Let him also desist from commenting on matters that are before court.”
Mundubile expressed delight that the President was confirmed having met former KCM liquidator Milingo Lungu.
“What is also pleasing to us is that the President constructively admitted that he met Milingo by saying he did not meet Milingo for purposes of discussing immunity, but he did meet Milingo. So for all of us that were doubting whether that meeting took place, it is now clear that for one reason or the other, the President did meet Milingo. Let’s say that he did not meet him for purposes of immunity, then we want to ask the question because Milingo stood accused. Was it that the President was interfering in those criminal proceedings?” asked Mundibile.
“If he met Milingo when Milingo was appearing in court, what was the reason for that meeting? Yes, he might not have met him for the purposes of discussing the immunity, but for what reason would he have met him? He should have been more clear in telling the Zambian people why he met Milingo. We are happy that in one way or the other, the President did admit that he met Milingo.”