Even if President Lungu and HH kissed and hugged, the President has no power to release him – Minister

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Makebi Zulu

By Mukosha Funga

Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu says President Edgar Lungu has no powers to release his political rival Hakainde Hichilema from prison even if they kissed and hugged today.

And Makebi says government has no intentions to close down certain publications but has powers under Chapter 112 of the laws of Zambia to regulate what can be published.

Speaking at a Patriotic Front interactive forum today, Makebi, who is also Malambo PF member of parliament, said President Lungu still would not have powers to release HH if the two reconciled today.

He was responding to a question from one of the journalists who wanted to know in what capacity President Lungu “allowed” Catholic Bishops to visit HH when he constantly said he was not involved with his arrest.

“The President can only release some from custody after they have been convicted through a pardon. In between, there is no other process which secures a release. A visitation of someone who is in custody is not a release, so the two cannot be equated. And in this particular case, the Catholic Bishops have said they need to go and visit him for purposes of securing dialogue or indeed seeing to it that the parties dialogue over issues that they may have between UPND and PF or indeed UPND and government to facilitate for such dialogue. But I am sure that this dialogue does not include anything to do with the release of HH because the President does not have such powers. Assuming today that HH says ‘okay, what I did was wrong. I shouldn’t have gone in the manner I went about’, we have reconciled, we kiss and hug and make up, still the President would have no power to say ‘release him’ because he has no such powers in the first place,” Makebi said.

“So whoever would want to facilitate the dialogue, as the Patriotic Front we have always been open to dialogue and we want to dialogue for purposes of having peace in the country…but in pursuit of that peace, we will not break any law. We will do everything by the book in order to achieve that peace. If today, there was a reconciliation as it is being referred to, still, the President would have no power to have him released from custody.”

He noted that the Catholic Bishops did not need to seek permission from President Lungu to visit HH saying the Head of State simply affirmed their right.

“Once HH is in custody, he is in the hands of the executive. The executive is an arm of government being led by the President and because it is being led by the president, he is in charge of all facilities…that is why when the police come to you they say ‘in the name of the president’, all that they execute they execute for and on behalf of the President. But as regards the powers to release a person out of custody without due process, the President does not have that power. In fact, the Catholics did not even need to ask for permission from the President if they needed to go and visit. The fact that they did does not in any way insinuate that they did not have that power in the first place. But the President saying you can go and visit is simply an affirmation of the right which they already have unless for security reasons it is stated by the courts as to why certain people cannot visit a person in custody, any other person will be free to visit,” Makebi said.

And Makebi said government did not intend to close down any media houses but to regulate content.

“There are no intentions to close certain media houses. But perhaps we need to put context to certain statements. I am not aware as to who may have issued that statement to say there are intentions but I can say bluntly that there are no intentions to close certain media houses. However, under Chapter 112 of the laws of Zambia, it gives leverage under the regulations to be able to state what ought not be published,” said Makebi.

“I will give you an example, if there is an investigation that is going on as relates to whatever may happen causing apprehension, and the release of that information or if you have that information, it would lead to the perpertrators being aware of exactly what is being investigated on and is capable of disturbing the investigations, government can say please, do not release this information because it is capable of hindering the investigations that are going on. That happens in every democratic society, that is not in any way to mean closing down. But we may regulate what ought and ought not be published and that can only be such as would threaten the security of the country or indeed threaten the integrity of the investigations that may be carried out.”

But at a media briefing yesterday, <a href=”https://diggers.news/local/2017/07/15/police-to-regulate-media-during-threatened-state-of-emergency/”>Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja said certain publications would be regulated or prohibited.</a>

Makebi also explained the Threatened State of Emergency and advised international media to contextualize the events that led to its invocation in their reporting.

Watch full proceedings of the interactive forum here: https://diggers.news/local/2017/07/16/lungu-has-no-power-to-release-hh-even-if-they-hug-kiss-makebi/

Source: Diggers News

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9 Responses to Even if President Lungu and HH kissed and hugged, the President has no power to release him – Minister

  1. Makebi does not understand how the Justice system works in Zambia. HH was arrested and charged for Treason by the State.Lungu is the Present Head of State and has the final say in the arrest and imprisonment of HH. If Lungu so decides he can direct the DPP tumoro to drop the Treason Charges thru a Nolle Prosqui. This was done for Minister Sumaili and Amos Chanda. Lungu is keeping HH in Jail for Political rather than Judicial Reasons. HH’s Treason Charges are Trumped Up and there is no evidence that HH and 5 co-accused mobilised arms and personnel to overthrow the Zambian govt. The obstruction of Lungu’s Motorcade could be a Traffic Offence but certainly not a Treasonable Crime. Lungu can try HH in Court for the alleged Traffic Offence but should not keep HH in Prison for a crime he never committed. HH and 5 co-accused are innocent and should he released unconditionally and unharmed.

    Chando
    July 16, 2017 at 5:50 pm
    Reply

    • The president does not interfere with the office of the DPP. The DPP is an independent office and decides on the nolle on his/her own. So those seeking the release of HH should not bother the president but the DPP. He is the only person with powers to release HH through a nolle!!

      yuda
      July 17, 2017 at 3:48 pm
      Reply

    • 1. The courts power is to convict or acquit those brought before it.

      2. The DPP has powers to withdraw the case BEFORE courts decide on it.

      3.The President’s power is only to pardon convicts.

      So HH has three chances of being released.

      Acquital, Nolle or Presidential pardon. So learned lawyers do not mislead HH. Lungu is the last person in this equation……the first is the DPP.

      yuda
      July 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm
      Reply

      • If in doubt ask the learned lawyer..NCHITO.

        yuda
        July 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm
        Reply

  2. Makebi is totally lost. Who are arrested and charged HH for Treason? It was ZPS. Who is the Commander in Chief of the Military? It is currently Lungu. So HH and 5 co-accused were arrested by the Police under the Direction of Lungu. If Lungu so decides he can drop the Treason Charges and Release HH from Jail. Lungu can direct DPP to enter a Nolle Prosqui and drop the Treason Charges if he so wishes. Lungu thru the DPP entered into a Nolle in the Minister Sumaili and Amos Chanda cases. Lungu can do this to HH becoz he is in Charge of the Zambian State Machinery.

    Mundia
    July 16, 2017 at 7:35 pm
    Reply

    • Mundia , you are the one who is totally wrong. THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THJE OFFICE OF THE DPP.

      kabwana
      July 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm
      Reply

  3. Thanks comrades for your powerful words of encouragement and knowledge.

    Eugene
    July 16, 2017 at 9:31 pm
    Reply

  4. We understand Makebi Zulu has some legal Training. Could he tells us the meaning of a Nolle Prosqui? Minister Sumaili,Amos Chanda and recently suspected Arsonist in Mongu were released from remand after the State entered a Nolle Prosqui.The State has no evidence to prove that HH and 5 accused carried out overt activities to overthrow the Zambian govt using arms of war.Lungu ordered the arrest of HH and slapped him with Trumped Up Treason Charges. Lungu is in charge of State Machinery and there is nothing to stop him from ordering the DPP to release him from Jail using a Nolle Prosqui. Lungu is persecuting HH to consolidate stolen power and force HH to withdraw the Petition and then recognize Lungu as a Legitimate President. That wont happen and Lungu will remain illegitimate.

    Mooya
    July 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm
    Reply

  5. Makebi Zulu is NOT ignorant of the law.
    He, like other PF cadres, is actually mocking HH, UPND supporters and hh’s wife and family.

    Makebi Zulu is telling the nation and turning a sharp instrument in the already painful wound being experienced HH, Mwaliteta and their family members at the hands of President Lungu and PF for questioning Mr Lungu’s presidency. Who does not know that!
    This is exactly what Robert Gabriel Mugabe has done to whoever challenged him politically. There is no opposition to speak of in Zimbabwe despite the fertile ground and thirst for change in that country. Mugabe is too close to President Lungu for comfort. What is drawing President Lungu close to Mugabe and Museveni and even Kagame? Just what is President Lungu learning from those 3 dictators?
    Makebi Zulu is a mocker who wants to please his boss. How do you throw people in jail on flimsy grounds and then say I have no power to withdraw the charge?
    We are not dumb children.

    Concerned citizen
    July 18, 2017 at 3:15 am
    Reply

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