By Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
Examples of lawlessness and corruption at the top abound in Zambia and Africa.
An expelled person like Felix Mutati cannot legally go ahead and hold a Convention purporting to be a convention constitutive of the very party, MMD that had legally expelled him. At the same time, he had actually legally challenged the very act of his expulsion. So Mutati knows very well that to follow the law you need to follow certain channels as he did by challenging the expulsion in court, but then he again at the same time engages in lawlessness by holding a Convention to get himself elected as leader of the very party that had legally expelled him, a party that had held a legal convention in May 2012 at which he was not elected leader.
The next legal MMD convention should be in 2017. But this ball was rolled a long time ago when Nevers Mumba disbanded his own party to be vice-president of Zambia. It is the law of what goes around, gets around.
Meanwhile what Mutati has caused by his action is to clog up the courts with political cases thereby further delaying legitimate cases in terms of delayed judgments in those other cases. Political cases in Zambia are given preferential treatment by our courts. They are part of political legal theatre.
The media gets to write something sensational every day. I have a cousin whose wrongful dismissal case has been in the Supreme Court of Zambia since 2009 without decision, yet so many political cases have gone there up and down since 2009 and they have all been decided. There is nothing urgent about political cases.
If Felix Mutati allegedly can play this game of lawlessness, imagine what could happen if he ascended to power. He would engage in the same plot of lawful/lawless gamesmanship. Do I hear someone conducting the orchestra?
Mutati’s behaviour is less shocking than the behaviour of Mr. Rupiah Banda, the former President of Zambia. He knows very well that the Mutati faction of the MMD was illegally holding a convention, yet there he goes to add fuel to the fire by gracing that unlawful convention.
He also knew that Mutati had been expelled from the MMD and that Mutati was challenging the expulsion decision in the courts of law. The lawlessness of this convention was written all over the map. It wasn’t a secret.
Further it is the very same Rupiah Banda who had caused further damage to the MMD by crossing over to the PF brand when he couldn’t get his way during the run-up to the 2015 Presidential by-elections! What do you make of this?
As if that was not enough, Banda runs back from the lawless Mutati -held MMD convention to join the PF launch that was held at Heroes stadium and arrives late to standing ovation, a person who had just been tossed out of power by these very Zambians four years previously! Zambia is a theatre of political absurdity.
Why was Rupiah Banda kicked out of power? Again the ball that got Rupiah Banda rolling was played years previously when Mwanawasa went out of his party to pick Rupiah Banda as vice-president. Mwanawasa himself had been brought back from retirement by Chiluba, the master dribbler. It is a law that has been set in motion in Zambia.
Over there at the nomination process of the FDD, lawlessness was allegedly engaged in when the leader’s running mate is said to have tendered nomination documents that had been rejected elsewhere.
This person could actually be ruling Zambia if the leader of that party were to be elected president of Zambia and became incapacitated. Lawlessness would now enter the state house!
Lawlessness could also enter the state house if the elected president got elected because of the pudding of prisoners’ votes. The Minister of Home Affairs, who is holding political office lawlessly, because the Zambian constitution does not allow the continuation of these ministers after dissolution of parliament, states that prisoners will vote in August, 2016, while his Permanent Secretary says that prisoners won’t vote.
The constitution doesn’t allow prisoners to vote. Allowing them to vote would be unconstitutional and therefore lawless. This would be engaging in lawless and corrupt vote-buying. Nowhere in the world are serving convicted prisoners allowed to vote. These are vulnerable people who would vote for anybody in power who allows them to vote. Is the PF that desperate to retain power?
A president will be lawlessly installed in state house because that president will be there with the help of fraudulent foreign voters from Malawi, Angola, DRC, Mozambique and elsewhere. There are allegations that foreign voters have been registered to vote in Zambia yet this seemingly credible allegation has not been credibly investigated by the government or ECZ. What a lawless and corrupt country Zambia has become!
Lawlessness and corruption are written all over Africa. Over in Angola, the president appoints his daughter to be the head of the most powerful money-making company, the state’s oil company, a woman who is already the richest woman out of Africa in the world. The oil company there is reported to be one of the most corrupt companies in the world. The president doesn’t care about the optics this conveys.
Museveni with his wife Janet
In Uganda, a newly corruptly elected president appoints his wife to be Minister of Education, a key ministry in any country. She is no Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton or Winnie Mandela. The same dictator has appointed his son to be a General heading a newly separately created army unit, some sort of presidential private army, an army within the army. Corruption and lawlessness of the highest level. The president is not troubled by the optics at all, despite the fact that this is the second decade of the twenty-first century, over half a century after acquisition of independence from colonial bondage.
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe wants his wife Grace, to succeed him, yet there is a woman, Joyce Mujuru, who actually fought in the guerrilla war that brought Mugabe to power and was once Vice-President, who should be the President.
Indeed the Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born, as per Ayi Kwei Armah’s book title.
Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa is the compiler of The Case Against Tribalism in Zambia and teaches at Zambian Open University School of Law.