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Power is blinding Hichilema – M’membe

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President Hichilema addressing end of 2022 press conference at State House.

It seems power has gotten to Mr Hakainde Hichilema’s head and is starting to affect his judgement and vision – it’s blinding him quite fast.

Contrary to his insinuations, there’s no opposition leader that has put himself or herself above law or thinks that he or she is above the law. Their complaint is that there’s no equality before law under Mr Hichilema’s administration.

It is a well-known fact that throughout history, those who administer or control the criminal justice system hold the power with the potential for abuse and tyranny. And this exactly what Mr Hakainde Hichilema is doing.

The statutory powers to arrest and prosecute those who commit crimes should be reasonably exercised and in good faith.

By allowing opposition leaders to be unjustifiably arrested, detained and prosecuted, Mr Hichilema, those in power, are sending a dangerous signal that the criminal justice system can used to persecute and fix opponents of the regime.

We have been attacked by known UPND cadres and complained to the police but no arrests or prosecutions have ever taken place.

There’s need to administer justice impartiality. Impartial law enforcement should be guaranteed by institutions charged with that responsibility.

We should apply institutions to every aspect of law enforcement as a wall wired with high-tension electricity line.

The only antidote to the culture of venality is the readiness of our criminal justice system to apply the laws fairly and equally.

In Freedom under the Law, Lord Denning wisely remarked, “All power corrupts. Total power corrupts absolutely. And the trouble about it is that an official who is the possessor of power often does not realise when he is abusing it.

Its influence is so insidious that he may believe that he is acting for the public good when, in truth, all he is doing is to assert his own brief authority. The Jack-in-office never realises that he is being a little tyrant.”

We should at all times uphold the rule of law, integrity of the criminal justice system and the right to a fair trial.

No section of the community has all the virtues, neither does any have all the vices.

It’s amazing how Mr Hichilema has forgotten so quickly because not so long ago, he demanded for the same equality before the law that we seek today, from those who were in power at that time. So what has changed now?

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

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