Treason in Zambia and the August elections

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Dr Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

Dr Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

By Munyonzwe Hamalengwa, Ph.D.

Every citizen who recruits mercenaries from abroad or neighbouring countries to overthrow a lawfully and constitutionally elected government of his or her country is subject to the charge of treason in that country. Every country in the world, without exception, has this charge in their criminal statutes.

Further, any soldier or civilian who attempts or engages in any unlawful acts, including the use of violence, of overthrowing his or her government is also liable to the charge of treason. This also applies in every country in the entire world.

There is absolutely no difference between a person who recruits foreign mercenaries to overthrow a constitutionally constituted government and a citizen who registers and aids  and abets foreign nationals to come and vote in Zambia for example therefore overthrowing the electoral and constitutional laws of this country, enabling the election of an illegitimate government. A foreign voter is the same as a mercenary. This Zambian who facilities foreign mercenaries to subvert the electoral laws of Zambia and causes the election of a dictatorship  is liable to the charge of treason. A foreign voter is as a mercenary as they come.

Registration of voters cannot be done by anybody else other than the government in power. A government in power can induce a coup from above in order to stay in power. Coups don’t necessarily get initiated from outside government. Rigging by the government is a form of coup. Museveni just did it openly with a lot of violence. The Electoral Commission can be paid to engineer an electoral coup or declare a losing President to have won. It happened in Kenya in 2007/08. The ICC got involved.

But back to treason. There is now enough evidence that foreigners have been registered to vote in Zambia and names of the perpetrators have began to circulate. The partial list of foreign voters was published in The Post of Tuesday July 5, 2016. Treason is being committed and is known to be committed and this is before the elections.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia if it is not itself involved in treason has to effectively investigate this list and purge these foreigners. The Ministry of Local Government if it is not itself implicated in this treasonous act has to immediately intervene and investigate this and other lists and purge itself of complicity and aiding and abetting of foreigners to subvert the cause of democracy in Zambia.

The Government of Zambia if it is not itself engaged in this treasonous criminal act has the ultimate duty in ensuring that mercenaries are not on the voters list and that this government will immediately inform the governments of Malawi, Tanzania, Congo DR, Angola and Mozambique to inform their citizens not to come to Zambia to violate Zambia’s electoral laws. The government of Zambia, specifically the President of Zambia, has to immediately summon the Ambassadors or High Commissioners of the impugned countries to State House to lodge a formal and forceful complaint that some citizens of these countries are on Zambian voters lists and that that list was published on July 5, 2016 and perhaps more is known about these foreigners.

The refusal by the Government, the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Ministry of Local Government to investigate, purge the list or undertake proactive measures, will be regarded as circumstantial evidence that the Government, the ECZ and the said Ministry are involved in rigging this election, that they are committing treason, that they are engineering an electoral coup. This is treason. The consequences on conviction for treason are severe.

For easy of reference, a composite definition of treason found in several dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary runs as follows: “Treason in its modern usage simply means the crime of betraying one’s country involving conniving with foreigners. It includes a violation of allegiance to ones sovereign or to one’s state. The betrayal of allegiance towards one’s own country, especially by committing hostile acts against it or aiding its enemies in committing such acts. Treason as a synonym mean disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government. Treason is an attempt to overthrow the government or impair the wellbeing of a state to which one owes allegiance”.

Registering foreign voters which can only be done by a sitting government is treasonous. The definition of treason is clear. Once proof is presented and circumstantial evidence is produced, guilty will inevitably follow. No one can ever attempt the defence of “I didn’t know, I didn’t participate, I was compelled by the government etc”.  Steve Biko once stated, “Justice will be done some day. Let’s just hope that it will not be visited on the innocent'”. Innocence can only take place before the elections. Once the elections are over in 2016 or 2021, justice will take its course. Justice has no statue of limitations.

Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa practiced law in Canada for 25 years and now teaches law at the School of Law, Zambian Open University.

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10 Responses to Treason in Zambia and the August elections

  1. Lawyers let the debate start now.

    James
    July 8, 2016 at 9:26 am
    Reply

    • There should not be any debate on this. This is my understanding of treason. The problem is that PF controls the prosecution services and the courts. Can a private individual originate a prosecution against government institutions on treason and what are the chances of success? It’s clear that PF is using govt institutions to pervert our democracy.

      Buck Teeth Lungu
      July 8, 2016 at 10:25 am
      Reply

    • This is my understanding of treason. The problem is that PF controls the prosecution services and the courts. Can a private individual originate a prosecution against government institutions on treason and what are the chances of success? It’s clear that PF is using govt institutions to pervert our democracy.

      Buck Teeth Lungu
      July 8, 2016 at 10:27 am
      Reply

  2. The amended constitution offers a lot of possibilities but cases of this nature generally are initiated by the prosecution. One could go to the prosecution and make a case for the laying of the charges. If they refuse, one could bring a common law application on public interest grounds (which now becomes a constitutional case) for mandamus to compell the prosecution to perform its duty to protect the public from having their constitutional rights to liberty, life, security of the person, rights to the enjoyment of democratic rights etc violated. This kind of case hasn’t happened in Zambia.
    Would the judiciary be receptive to such is a whole different game. Thus this question of treason in Zambia all depends on the state and nature of the legal profession and judicial gravitas. But treason is being committed right in front of our eyes by the registration of foreign voters.

    Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
    July 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm
    Reply

  3. Lungu pf team are blood thirsty hyenas ready to kill anyone who stand their way to stealing from zambia and zambian people.

    zwangendaba
    July 8, 2016 at 6:16 pm
    Reply

  4. Thanks doc. I have been wondering why our legal minds are quiet about this treasonous act of rigging which is just viewed as government workers or politicians just being naughty. It is an issue of life and death. Civil servants who have been approached by PF to help them rig with a promise for a promotion are risking their life. It hasn’t been so in the past but from august 11 election it should be understood that their acts are going to be investigated once PF loses. Thanks again for clarifying this issue.

    Mr PF Violence. 2011-2016. RIP.
    July 9, 2016 at 11:30 am
    Reply

  5. We have fought hard for our democracy yet a few bandits are perpetrating treason in order to remain in power. Kaunda gave up power reluctantly but peacefully. Banda gave up power reluctantly but peacefully. That is how it should be in a democracy. But this violent clique want to both rig, utilize foreign mercenaries to subvert our democracy and are now perpetrating violence in order that elections campaigns be stopped which may give them an advantage. Now campaigns have been stopped in Lusaka and Namwala. Every time election campaigns are stopped, the incumbent benefits. But Zambia shall be free, no matter what.

    Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
    July 9, 2016 at 6:09 pm
    Reply

    • Doc Hamalengwa,

      You are now truly sounding more like UPND cadre than an intellectual or legal mind. Those who came up with these lists of “foreign” registered voters were requested by ECZ to prove the genuineness of the lists they had and they failed to do so. Anyone familiar with the electoral demographics in Zambia knows that there is hardly any reason why the PF should attempt any rigging because these figures overwhelmingly favour them. Excluding Central Province which can go either way, the total number of registered votes in PF strongholds is 4,354,982 out the 6,710,455 total registered voters as at May 5, 2016. This is broken down as follows: of Copperbelt Province (1,038,434); Eastern Province (777,379); Luapula Province (511,057); Lusaka Province (1,121,8460; Muchinga Province (349,411); and Northern Province (556,855). This constitutes 64.9 percent of voters in PF strongholds. In contrast, the total number of registered voters in UPND strongholds is 1,712,247 broken down as follows: North-Western Province (399,784); Southern Province (812,590); and Western Province (499,873). This makes up 25.5 of registered voters in UPND strongholds. Even we add Central Province to UPND strongholds, this only increases their percent share of all registered voters to 35.1 percent. Given these facts, why should PF even think of rigging?

      Stringer
      July 10, 2016 at 8:20 am
      Reply

  6. So your assumption is that every voter in an alleged stronghold will vote for the party claiming a stranglehold in that area. So there is really no need to vote at all because victory belongs to the PF by pre-ordination. Thus the victory of the PF in 2011 was an accident. The fact that there was only 27,000 voters differentiating the PF from UPND victory was an accident. That people don’t change voting patterns. That “don’t kubeba” is a lie, ie people can’t claim to be UPND while they are PF and vice versa. It doesn’t matter that Siamunene for example is now PF. It doesn’t matter that GBM, Miles Sampa, Guy Scott, Nevers Mumba, Sylvia Masebo, Mwaliteta etc are now allied with UPND. It doesn’t matter that some UPND are now allued with PF. For you politics is always frozen and elections are meaningless.
    However, you never really answered my analysis. Registering foreign voters is equivalent to hiring foreign mercenaries and that is treason. Thus government knows that politics is not frozen, it is dynamic, that GBM, Scott, Sampa, Mumba, Masebo, mwaliteta etc are going to make a big impact and therefore the need to register foreign voters in the so calked strongholds and cushion the numbers that will be lost. The PF is not dumb. They are not as plastic as you think.
    We know that rigging in Zambia is real. Chiluba admitted on VOA to Shaka Ssali tags the rigged the 2001 elections and that is why Mazoka lost. Rigging is complex. Chiluba even inflated Mazoka votes in certain areas in order to attribute rigging to Mazoka. Lungu is going beyond that. He is employing violence, he is enlisting all the powers of the state machinery to bling on to power. He is claiming through you, a cadre that because he has these strongholds, the PF can’t lose and the result is preordained. Tukamona. You will search the voters list and you won’t find my name because I have never belonged to a political party in my life. I am out there day in day out ensuring that there is fair play, that democracy survives, that the rule of law is obeyed, that justice is served. Any party that fairly wins an election following principles of free and fair elections will always receive my support. Right now the evidence is that the PF is a violent party, it wants to fit the elections and it is abusing the powers of the state to cling to power. Zambia shall be free.

    Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
    July 10, 2016 at 3:36 pm
    Reply

  7. My apologies, the feedback above was not proofread before it was accidentally sent. There are some mistakes in spelling etc which the reader can easily catch.

    Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
    July 10, 2016 at 3:42 pm
    Reply

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