Previously, we wrote about how useless a good Constitution is when lawbreakers are in power. This was after Justice Minister Given Lubinda made an admission that the Republican Constitution was a messed up document as it was produced in a hurry.
In that opinion, we stated that we didn’t think a good Constitution would change anything in Zambia under the PF administration. We pointed out that this country already had some very good laws which were being publicly disregarded by those who wield political power. We observed that police officers were enforcing laws according to the desires of those who recruited them.
“In Zambia, the law is what the PF says it is, not what is in the Constitution. So of what value will a good Constitution be? Even if we harmonise the clauses and make them speak to each other, how will that help with government leaders who don’t speak to the Constitution?” we asked.
On Monday evening, this question came back knocking on our door when President Edgar Lungu addressed a campaign rally in Lusaka’s Chawama compound, where he spent time talking about the UPND’s failure to uphold the Constitution. He said it pains him that the opposition party doesn’t want to replace Hakainde Hichilema as its leader.
“I want to be very clear, my political advisors have advised me that wilalandapo (don’t talk about the UPND) but I think I should talk about them because the constitution says ‘Zambia should be governed by a democratic party which should adhere to democratic values such as regular elections, consultation and so on. Nomba abanensu bena tukomfwa ati iyo kanofye uyu wine uyu, five times iyo komafye uyu wine uyu. I know that nga naya ku State House balaya mukunkalipila (My advisors will go and reprimand me for saying this) ati you wasted too much time talking about your opponents, its not good. But lelo lekeni ndandepo pantu chilankalipa (let me talk about it because it hurts me… he (HH) has failed five times but they (UPND) are insisting that they want this same candidate. Zambia is not supposed to be condoning dictators,” said President Lungu.
Firstly, we would like to give credit to President Lungu’s political advisors for guiding the President to stop wasting time talking about the UPND leadership. We thought these advisors only have time for getting bribes and drinking expensive alcohol with slay queens, but it is encouraging to hear that they actually do find time during their clandestine activities with their boss to speak sense to each other.
However, we won’t waste time asking why President Lungu doesn’t want to take this sound advice, because that would be like asking the armpits to stop sweating – it’s their nature.
What we would rather ask President Lungu is why he wants Mr Hakainde Hichilema to uphold the Republican Constitution, which him as Head of State continues to disregard. Every rally that he addresses President Lungu is asking the UPND to go for an elective convention so that they can choose another leader.
Why is he losing sleep over the leadership of the UPND? As Rupiah Banda would ask: Nanga nichipani cha nyoko? Why chikunyonga? How does it affect the running of government if the UPND doesn’t want to replace its president? Does the UPND use government money or any funding from the PF to run its operations?
Can you tolerate Mr Hichilema coming into your bedroom to order you to divorce your wife because she is not bearing children? Let the UPND decide who leads them and let the Zambian people choose who leads their country – that’s what the law says. Simple!
So, this Constitution that you are pushing onto others is yours to uphold Mr Lungu, not Mr Hichilema. You are the one who has abrogated it beyond imaginable proportions. Are you not the one who ordered Ministers to stay in office after dissolution of Parliament? Are you not the one who has declared yourself presidential Candidate for 2021 before the Constitutional Court ruled on your eligibility? Are you not the one who has declared war if the court disqualifies your candidature for the next general election? Are you not the one who refused to hand over power to the Speaker of the National Assembly after your 2016 election was petitioned? Is it not from your abuse of office that you received a land gift in Swaziland?
This is what we mean when we say a good constitution is useless to Zambia for as long as the PF remains in power, because the lawbreakers are ruling the country. Our Head of State doesn’t care what he does to our national Constitution, but he seems to worry more about what Mr Hichilema does to the UPND constitution.
Well, we have a short story for President Lungu. Mr Hichilema still has a chance to prove himself to the people of Zambia that he can be a good Republican President, while the incumbent has already demonstrated his incompetence.
But we understand why President Lungu says it hurts him that the UPND doesn’t want to change its leadership. Actually, the word is “fear”. He is afraid that the narrow margin that he won the 2016 election with is narrowing by the day.
Well, fear is inevitable for wrong doers and Mr Lungu must be very, very afraid of losing power. At the same time, he must know that olo chinyonge bwanji, UPND has a choice to keep fielding HH in every election until his afro turns grey. And if God decides to reshuffle State House in 2021, not even the most expensive Jameson will heal the depression.