Monday, February 11, 2013

Students marginalised in development - UNZASU

Students marginalised in development - UNZASU
By Allan Mulenga
Mon 11 Feb. 2013, 09:40 CAT

THE University of Zambia Students' Union (UNZASU) says students have been marginalised in the development process of the country.

Commenting on President Michael Sata's statement that he was greatly concerned over the limited role students in institutions of higher learning have been playing in the development process of the country, UNZASU information and publicity secretary Thelma Zimba said national development could only realised if there was full participation of young people.

"There is no employment in the country. That makes it hard for young people to contribute positively to the development of the country. Because you can be at school for many years, where are you going to find a job? The government should come up with policies that will support job creation for young people.

Because this is the cry that was in the MMD, and that why PF was voted to power," Zimba said. "Students can contribute to the development of the nation by being proactive in things that concern them. Students are not actively involved in issues to do with national development. If young people had a role to play in national development, we will see more development because they have fresh minds. They have entrepreneurship skills that can bring considerable development as opposed to the traditional way of doing things," Zimba said.
She urged students to employ dialogue whenever they had issues to do with the government.

"As a union we don't sanction the use of violence to air our grievances. That is not a proper channel and we will not defend that. The government needs to be proactive. We have a government that only waits for violence before things are acted upon. When there is a problem let someone work on it before taking to the streets. Dialogue is the best way of solving problems, but dialogue can only be there if parties are willing to sit down and resolve the issues," said Zimba.
In his foreword in the book 'Student' Reclaim of a Place in Society' by Kitwe Riverside ward councillor Christopher Kang'ombe, President Sata condemned the use of violence by students to air their grievances.


MPs to decide Rupiah's fate
By Kombe Chimpinde and Roy Habaalu
Mon 11 Feb. 2013, 14:00 CAT

RUPIAH Banda's refusal to comply with the invitation by the ACC for an interview leaves the government with no choice but to go to Parliament and ask the House to lift his immunity and decide his fate, says Wynter Kabimba.

And chief Chisunka of Luapula Province says Parliament should prioritise the lifting of Rupiah Banda's immunity in order to afford Zambians an opportunity to know the extent of the destruction he caused them.

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday summoned Banda for an interview relating to allegations of corruption and other criminal activities during his presidency but the former head of state declined, claiming immunity from prosecution.

Kabimba, who is justice minister, said in an interview that the summoning of Banda by ACC was neither academic nor a violation of the Constitution.

He said Banda's immunity prescribed in Article 43 (3) of the Constitution touched on the issue of prosecution and not investigation, which required one to be summoned for interrogations by the investigative wings.

"Where does the Constitution say ACC cannot call you for enquiry before that (removal of immunity) is done? It does not say that. Yes, the former president has a right not to say anything or attend the interview at all," Kabimba said.

"If you remember in 1992, the state agencies went to search Dr Kaunda at Dr Kaunda's home. That was an investigation and Dr Kaunda did not plead immunity. So the immunity is against prosecution. The immunity is not against investigation. So the journalists must understand this clearly, not to get misled by all these comments."

Kabimba said the immunity was against prosecution and so the ACC had the mandate to establish a case against Banda.

"You cannot be prosecuted unless your immunity is lifted by Parliament; that is what the law says. You can even be charged, what you cannot do is prosecute. To be charged is not the same as to be prosecuted. The Constitution says you shall not be prosecuted; it does not say you shall not be charged for any civil or criminal wrong that you did during the time when you were head of state," Kabimba said.

"The ACC was saying to Mr Banda, 'come here because according to our investigations, there are issues we would like to clarify with you'.
Now you cannot claim immunity against that. He Banda misapplied the issue of his immunity. Now that he has been given an opportunity to go to the ACC for him to go and answer questions and without submitting to the ACC, he has pleaded immunity, we have no choice now but to take the matter to Parliament so that his immunity against prosecution can be lifted, so this is not an academic exercise."

Kabimba said the government would ensure that Banda is absorbed only through the due process of the law.

He said ACC was not guilty of anything in inviting Banda for and interview.
"ACC was not saying to him 'we are coming to arrest you'. ACC was asking him to go and clarify certain issues which were under investigation by ACC. Even if the ACC had established a case against him at that stage, they would not have arrested him; they would have charged him," Kabimba said.

"All I can tell you is that we shall go all the way to ensure that Mr Banda is absorbed through the due process of the law and also inform the people of Zambia about this matter. We're obliged to inform the public about the status of this situation," he said.

And chief Chisunka said lifting Banda's immunity would avail Zambians an opportunity to know how much damage and suffering he had caused the people.
"When Parliament resumes, they should first consider lifting the immunity of Mr Rupiah Banda. There was too much corruption at that time and people were suffering when he and his close associates were dinning with the corrupt. There is nothing personal, all we want is people to know how much crime he committed and those that benefited should be held accountable and pay back what they got," said chief Chisunka in an interview.

"People expect a lot from PF and they should not be seen to be protecting the corrupt and powerful. People know that Mr Rupiah Banda amassed a lot of wealth within a short period and all we want is for him to explain how this was possible and if he's found not to have stolen, well and good but if he has a case, which I don't doubt he has, let the law take its course. There is no persecution. Ba (Frederick) Chiluba was prosecuted, what's so special about ba Rupiah? He's my friend but unfortunately he ignored my advice."

In April last year, Chisunka likened Rupiah to a monkey in a maize field.
Later Banda's lawyers from Central Chambers sued chief Chisunka, claiming damages for defamation and libel over two articles that were published in The Post that he had stolen a lot of money. However, Banda later withdrew the case.

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