Saturday, December 26, 2009

Attacking Lungu is wicked intimidation - Prof Hansungule

Attacking Lungu is wicked intimidation - Prof Hansungule
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 26 Dec. 2009, 04:01 CAT

Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Stephen Lungu
PRETORIA-based Professor of law Michelo Hansungule has described the government’s attacks on Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Stephen Lungu as wicked intimidation.

In an interview from his base in South Africa, Prof Hansungule encouraged LAZ to continue protecting the people of Zambia.

“LAZ and Stephen Lungu should continue developing Zambia through their fearless voices on matters of public interest. MMD must understand that statements from their ministers against Lungu in particular and LAZ in general is wicked intimidation which is very disappointing really for a party which came to power on the bandwagon of democracy,” Prof Hansungule said.

“In Zambia, we need not just LAZ voice but a million voices of free men and women including children to develop. No country where the government intimidates its people has developed. Look around at history and tell me one which did. The different views and discourses especially against government is the raw material by which development is made.”

Prof Hansungule wondered why the government should call for Lungu’s blood when he was operating professionally.

“It is amazing how politics make people drunk with power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's a long time since a wise man uttered these words. Today, they sound exactly like they were uttered this morning. Why should our politicians itch for Stephen Lungu's blood? You want the blood of someone who is saying the right thing?

What exactly is wrong with us humans?” he asked. “The Law Association of Zambia has a right to comment on issues of public interest in the way they not MMD see it. I thought the MMD should surprise us at least once by coming out to congratulate Stephen and his colleagues for being true to themselves and doubt DPP Mchenga. More than forty years after independence, the ruling party still cannot tolerate different views! When are we going to 'grow up' politically and celebrate different and opposite views?”

He said there was nothing wrong with people questioning Chiluba’s acquittal since the former president plundered public resources.

“The right of participation is enshrined in the Constitution and it is so in all major political systems. A key element of this is the freedom of expression and I am glad deputy ministers Todd Chilembo and Gaston Sichilima know it hence always press conferences and press statements to castigate those who try claim it to communicate their views.

Holding dissenting opinions from the ruling party is precisely the stuff freedoms of opinion and expression is made of,” he said.

“Did the ministers really think that we should all share their opinion on such a divisive issue as Chiluba's acquittal? If they have chosen not to oppose the acquittal for whatever reason (s), should all Zambians and their various professional and non-professional bodies not think differently from the MMD? What exactly is wrong with calls for appeal in Chiluba's acquittal or for LAZ to question Mchenga's stance?”

Prof Hansungule said Chiluba’s acquittal would be a subject of public discussion for a long time.

He said Chiluba had up to now not explained how he acquired the US $8 million he deposited in the Zamtrop account.

“MMD must accept that this issue will be a subject of public discourse for a long time to come. Chiluba whom they are supporting has not explained how he came to be in possession of eight million United States dollars. He has not explained and I seriously doubt if he can.

To my knowledge, there is no Christian who is a Christian who cannot be bothered to explain how he or she came to possession of such a large sum of money. Chiluba claims to be a Christian.

His salary as president for ten years is public knowledge. If this cannot be established in the established courts of law up to the highest court using institutions of state, can we still claim Zambia is a democracy based on the rule of law?” asked Prof Hansungule.

“Given the clear stand the MMD and President Banda have taken on Chiluba and his acquittal, this matter should be taken to the people for them to make their verdict in 2011.

We are dealing with the issue of corruption here and it is important all voices are heard on the issue. We must go to the people with Chiluba's salary for the ten years he was president which is public knowledge at Government Printers in Lusaka; add 20 per cent for his allowances and deducting it from eight million USD, ask people to ask the MMD who know him better to explain for him where he got the rest?

The $8 million is the money Chiluba himself admitted to have in the infamous Zamtrop account therefore he must be able to shed light on through his personal and political friends. 2011 should be an interesting year. The elections should be decided on Chiluba's case. Let's ask people to make their decisions against this background.”

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home