Friday, January 28, 2011

A shameful evil scheme against justice Mumba

A shameful evil scheme against justice Mumba
By The Post
Fri 28 Jan. 2011, 04:00 CAT

The scheme to hound justice Florence Mumba out of the Electoral Commission of Zambia is going to backfire on Rupiah Banda. They may succeed in removing justice Mumba today over lies and half-truths that they are concocting. But our people will have the final say on this matter.

We say this because over many years, there has been heightened dissatisfaction with the way the Electoral Commission has conducted elections in our country.

Many of our people have found it difficult to accept the legitimacy of election results because of the perception that the Electoral Commission is an extension of the party in government.

It is very difficult for anyone to deny that justice Mumba is one of the very well respected and outstanding professionals that our country has produced.

She has excelled in her profession as a lawyer, and particularly as a judge. You do not have to know her personally to admire her qualities and respect her.

This is the person who is not only respected by many of our people but one who has been recognised as an outstanding legal luminary and a judge of very high integrity.

It does not surprise us that she is having the kinds of problems that have beset the Electoral Commission.

It seems to us that she found herself in a cesspool of corruption and abuse of public resources and offices at the Electoral Commission.

Her efforts to clean up have galvanised significant resistance that is being openly supported by the government.

Again, government support for the reactionary elements that have benefitted from the abuse of systems at the Electoral Commission should not surprise anyone.

This is a government that supports and defends criminals.

One doesn’t need to look very far to see how they do it: look at the cases of Frederick Chiluba and his tandem of thieves.

All that matters to them is support and defence of their criminal regime. If you do that, you can get away with anything – even murder.

In a paradoxical way, people like justice Mumba should draw comfort from the lack of support by this government.

We say this because in a very consistent way, Rupiah and his minions have tended to rise in defence of what is wrong.

It is very difficult to find a single instance where they have waged a battle to defend a principle or a principled person. Rupiah and his minions seem allergic to what is right.

They are drawn to wrong things the way a magnet is drawn to metal.

If one wants to know what side is wrong or right, all one needs to do is to see where Rupiah and his minions stand.

Even if you are not clear about the issue, where Rupiah and his minions are standing should serve as a definite warning sign that there is something rotten there, something stinking, something filthy and all the like.

When the attacks on justice Mumba began, we were not clear what was happening. We were hearing things but we were not able to fully digest what the problem was.

But it took us less than 24 hours to clearly understand what was going on.

All we needed to do was to wait and see where Rupiah and his minions were in this matter.

And following our journalistic instincts, we walked in the trail.

And true to our suspicions, Rupiah and his minions were once again on the wrong side of the argument.

There are allegations of misappropriation of funds and general abuse of resources at the Electoral Commission.

And the dismissed director Dan Kalale seems to have some explanations to do in relation to these allegations.

Justice Mumba seems to have been trying to do something about these allegations.

And yet what seems to be emphasised by Rupiah’s vuvuzelas is the alleged unprocedural retention of an audit firm, KPMG, to investigate the allegations of criminal abuse of resources.

These people have no interest in safeguarding public resources but are more interested in defending wrongdoing and wrongdoers in the name of procedural correctness.

If there was something to forgive, to overlook, it would certainly not be criminal acts of theft of public resources and abuse of office but procedural lapses.

If there are any procedural lapses, they can and should be corrected. But criminal wrongdoing should be punished, it cannot be corrected.

One of the evidences of corruption or behaviour of corrupt people is an unbending or inflexible insistence on processes which make it impossible for an activity to be carried out.

If you need their concurrence in doing something, they will make it so impossible for you that in the end, you are forced to buy their flexibility.

This is why in the past, people have accused bureaucracy of being responsible for corruption.
Bureaucratic procedures are not responsible for corruption; it is corrupt bureaucrats who exploit the bureaucracies in which they work to benefit themselves.

This is what is happening at the Electoral Commission. Instead of dealing with the underlying problems, bureaucrats who know the loopholes with the help of their political puppeteers have made it impossible for honest people like justice Mumba to correct the many wrongs that have been taking place.

These bureaucrats understand the weaknesses of their political masters.

We know that they have gone to them with blatant lies about people like justice Mumba.

One stupid accusation that they have been peddling against this innocent lady is that she is working with this newspaper and Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front to interfere with the electoral processes in favour of PF.

Anyone listening to that argument with the slightest modicum of honesty would have to dismiss it as trash.

But people like George Kunda, the minion in charge of the administration of Rupiah’s government as Rupiah sleeps at the driving wheel, is only too eager to have excuses such as this nonsense to further destroy the Electoral Commission.

We have now learnt that George Kunda has been campaigning for the retention of Kalale, whose contract is supposed to end next month and who has been at the Electoral Commission for close to 20 years.

What is it that Kalale is supposed to do for them?

What has Kalale promised them which makes it worth their while to try and destroy the reputation of a very distinguished citizen like justice Mumba?

We know that they have been banding around accusations against her because according to them, this newspaper has never criticised her.

Surely, are we expected to criticise somebody just to satisfy their morbid appetites for the destruction of those who dare to stand for what is right?

We have come to an understanding of the way George Kunda operates. His fingerprints are all over this continued destruction of our public service.

As an accomplished minion himself, he expects all those that he considers to be below him to be minions to him the way he is to his boss.

George wants to turn the whole public service into his bootlickers.

It is now in the public domain that he wants to choose and promote every judge, control the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police, the Drug Enforcement Commission.

The Anti Corruption Commission, like the Drug Enforcement Commission, are his preferred tools for meting out vengeance on his perceived political rivals or professionals who refuse to bow to him.

We have no doubt that George wants to control the Electoral Commission the same way he seems to control everything else in Rupiah’s government.

Clearly, in justice Mumba, he has met a person of moral clarity who cannot easily be swayed by cheap promises or expectation of patronage.

To accuse her of plotting to collaborate with us to subvert the will of our people is not only nonsense but reckless maliciousness against such an innocent, humble human being.

We are used to being accused of all sorts of things by George and it does not bother us.

If George was not worried about us and concocting all sorts of stories and rumours, there would have to be two explanations: either we have stopped doing our job in the right way we should or George has stopped doing the wrong things he seems permanently wedded to.

If George changed and started supporting what is right, we would have no problems in praising him and supporting him.

But clearly, his morbid hatred for us is being used by those around him to destroy innocent people.

We say this because we know that all somebody has to say to George and through George, his boss Rupiah, is: so-and-so is a friend of The Post.

Then that person may well be destroyed. We know that George complains even about fellow MMD or government leaders who appear to have been covered positively by The Post.

Whatever problems George may have with us, he should be careful not to use them to destroy innocent people and consequently the credibility of the public institutions they lead.

What they are trying to do to justice Mumba clearly demonstrates that she is as honourable as we suspected.

They have failed to get her to co-operate in their evil schemes and they are therefore determined to destroy her.

We saw this in the way this same George dealt with the former Director of Public Prosecutions Caroline Sokoni who had refused to be part of his evil and corrupt scheme to pardon corrupt Kashiwa Bulaya.

George saw to it that she was never confirmed in her job. He instead brought pliable and spineless Chalwe Mchenga who appears ready to do George’s bidding at every turn.

We have no shame in saying we wish we knew justice Mumba more because clearly, she is an outstanding person.

This newspaper does not have any personal relations with her. But that does not stop us admiring her professionalism.

And the fact that George is fighting her convinces us that she is on the right side of the argument.

Kalale is now just a pawn being used to subdue an honourable person. Anyway, all these people should realise that their day is coming and that day is near.

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