Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zambia needs new political dispensation - Nkole

Zambia needs new political dispensation - Nkole
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 13 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

THE due process of the law will continue to be interfered with if the same political group remains in office after this year’s general elections, says Maxwell Nkole. Nkole, who is former Task Force on Corruption chairperson, said it would be difficult to have a new way of doing things under the current regime.

“I think we will continue on the same old platform and the due process of the law will continue to be interfered with, unfortunately. And that is up to the Zambian people to decide if this is what they want to see continuing. This is a year of elections, you never know where the country is going to go to,” Nkole said.

“But I know that the law normally is changed by the political system obtaining at the time, and should that change come this year, then I am sure that these issues will be looked at totally differently.”

Nkole said there was need for a new political dispensation to address issues like realising people’s demands for Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chalwe Mchenga to go for allowing the Executive to usurp his powers.

He said whatever the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) would try to do to remove Mchenga, even constitutionally, would face opposition from the government as he owed his continued stay in office to the current administration.

“So LAZ would have a mammoth task to try to issue any kind of mandate for the replacement of the DPP.

But it is an issue which amongst the legal fraternity, legal profession they are supposed to reflect on as to the independence of the DPP’s office, and also of the performance of the individual who is actually holding office,” Nkole said.

“That is within their competence as LAZ. They can come up with a position if they concur with the previous LAZ executive. If they have to add any more momentum and guidance, they should be at liberty to do so as well.”

Nkole said a new government after the elections would create an environment where the new LAZ could work, given the political direction the country would take.

“So in a way all those cases that have been withdrawn or suspended can only be revisited, I think, with a new political dispensation, not in the current system. So those are not dead issues. They are still alive I think in the minds of most Zambians,” said Nkole.

“And you can’t go beyond where we have gone, apart from stating very categorically that justice has been suffocated midway.”

Nkole said if another political group came into office they would look at issues differently, and then the new LAZ would have an environment within which they could interpret the law effectively.

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