Comment on President Lungu’s warning shots

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President Lungu inspecting a guard of honour during his inauguration. Photo: Jean Mandela

By MacDonald Chipenzi
President Lungu says: “All criminal suspects will face full force of the law and the law is blind to social status.”
May I be allowed to differ with the above statement from the president. How does he promise of the “full force of the law” on criminal suspects and yet in the same breath he talks about presumption of innocence of suspects until one is proven or pleaded guilty? Will the use of the “full force of the law” be in resemblance of what we are already experiencing where police now have to raid a citizen’s house in an effort to arrest him/her? What does he mean by saying “all criminal suspects will face full force of the law”? Is this not promoting brutality at the point of arrest of suspect regardless of whether they cooperate with the law enforcers or not?
Are these suspects going to be subjected to torture, violation of their rights, intimidation, ill-treatment before they are proven guilty by the courts? I believe that the president would have talked of “all convicted criminals not suspects” to face full force of the law”. Let the president talk of the fair application of the law and not force.
He also talks about the blindness of the law on social status which is supposed to be the ideal way in a country that believes in the rule of law but reality is to the contrary.
May be, the president missed the news ahead of the Kuomboka ceremony of the Lozi people of Western Province. Let me remind him that one of his confidant and PF party functionary, Kennedy Kamba warned of bloodbath in Mongu which was almost a repeat of his earlier warning head of the aborted Kanyama opposition rally. An official complaint was filed against Mr. Kamba but to date, he has not been summoned or investigated or arrested. Where does it put the president’s remarks that the “law is blind of social status”? Is the law not against proposing violence, of course it is. Is this a classic case of the law being sighted? Yes, it is.
PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri also warned of confining a fellow citizen to a permanent confinement and usurping the duties of the Police, an institution created by the constitution to maintain law and order and protect the president, in protecting the president. Did she “face full force of law? Not at all. Again the law was sighted on this matter.
It is like the law in Zambia is only blind on social status of those critical of the president and his government, the opposition etal while the praise singers and party members are immunised from the “full force of the law.” This is not correct in a democracy and I believe that the president is presiding over both young and adults, educated and uneducated, analysts and non-analysts and they are following how the “full force of the law” is being applied in the country.
The President is quoted to have further advised “civil society and the Church to accept the rule of law and the Constitution and its provisions” that is agreed but the same should be applied equally to the ruling party members, individuals, civil society, opposition and the church associated to him and his party.
It is important that as the president sounds that warning on the application of the “full force of the law to all criminal suspects”, he must also respect and adhere to the constitution provisions as contained in Article 91(3) which states, “The president shall, in exercise of the executive authority of the state–promote democracy and enhance the unity of the nation; respect the diversity of the different communities of Zambia; promote and protect the rights and freedoms of a person; and uphold the rule of law.”
He must also be reminded of the national values and principles he ably articulated during his address to parliament which are contained in article 8 of the constitution which among others include, “democracy and constitutionalism; human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination; good governance and integrity” which must apply to the “interpretation of this constitution.”

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4 Responses to Comment on President Lungu’s warning shots

  1. foolish chakolwa

    wakalijo
    April 15, 2017 at 6:35 pm
    Reply

  2. SAnganu

    Linyungandambo
    April 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm
    Reply

  3. Whoever uses a knife to kill a friend, so shall it be also.
    Zambia has changed, No freedom of expressing/ No freedom of information.
    God heal our Zambia which has become more corrupt

    Fanwell
    April 15, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    Reply

  4. well written. kambwili, bwalya, mumbi phiri, mwila, kamba, etc,etc, and edgar himself. you people are a danger to this country. sooner than later the police in particular will fold their arms in order not to be used.

    cm
    April 20, 2017 at 10:07 am
    Reply

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