Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Katele blames Sejani for L/stone violence

Katele blames Sejani for L/stone violence
By Godfrey Chikumbi in Nchelenge
Mon 04 Mar. 2013, 16:00 CAT

KATELE Kalumba has blamed UPND's Ackson Sejani for the Livingstone violence, which led to the death of a PF official Harrison Chanda last week.

And Kalumba says the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)'s prolonged silence on Rupiah Banda's lawyer Robert Amsterdam's insults on innocent citizens is a source of concern.

In January this year, the opposition UPND warned that in order to curb what they termed vote rigging, the party would in future by-elections use the Mapatizya formula, a term coined following Sejani's announcement in 2005 that he had declared a "Jihad Political War" during that year's by-election, which he contested in Mapatizya.

The Mapatizya formula is a term used to describe the violence that erupted between the then ruling MMD and opposition UPND in the Mapatizya parliamentary by-election in 2005, which left more than 10 people seriously injured.

Commenting on the political violence that erupted in Livingstone last week, which led to the postponement of the parliamentary by-election by the Electoral Commission of Zambia, Kalumba said Sejani was to blame for the inventing the dreaded Mapatizya formula, which the UPND was allegedly using.

He said it was shameful that Sejani had chosen to be associated with violence.

The Mapatizya formula was conceived on May 4, 2005, when the UPND held a press briefing to announce the names of their adopted candidates for the for Kalulushi and Mapatizya by-elections on June 9, 2005.

UPND had adopted Sejani as its candidate for Mapatizya.
Sejani, a former minister of local government in the Frederick Chiluba regime, announced at a UPND conference that he had declared what he termed a Jihad Political War, alleging that the war was directed against the MMD's "electoral corruption and rigging".

"I'm sure by now Sejani is regretting his invention of the Mapatizya formula, which is now being used as a means by the UPND to settle differences with their political opponents," Kalumba said.
He said Sejani was his personal friend and never wanted him to leave a bad legacy which would haunt Zambia.

"Let him remember the words we used in the car park of the National Assembly that we have to survive to leave behind a country our children will live to love. This is the politics of decency, intelligence and rational debate," Kalumba said.

He advised the UPND to quickly abandon their Mapatizya formula as it had failed to inspire Zambians.

"Where there is perception of injustice, there is always an opportunity to devise means that are rational to overcome injustice. That is what the civil rights movement in the United States of America used to overcome injustices. We also used it to overcome injustices that the one-party state brought," Kalumba said.

"There are people like Douglas Siakalima in the UPND, a young and intelligent politician who cannot support hooliganism. Siakalima must help the party to drift away from violence."

He also said the opposition that President Michael Sata was involved in never resorted to violence whenever it was faced with political challenges.

Kalumba said the PF in opposition always used the judicial system to confront political challenges.

"Sometimes he (Sata) won, sometimes he lost but that is part of our political practice in this country," Kalumba said.

He observed that there were many times when President Sata aligned himself with the Church to put pressure on the government.

"President Sata used NGOs to mobilise public debate in support of the PF agenda. The peaceful strategies that Sata used were dynamics which might not have been visible but worked well for Zambia," Kalumba said.

And commenting on Amsterdam's unpalatable language against the Zambian government and citizens, Kalumba said LAZ's failure to condemn Amsterdam's "unethical behavior" was a matter of concern.

He said despite Amsterdam being a foreign lawyer, LAZ had a role to play in the matter because the lawyer's behaviour was an assault on the legal etiquette.

The former MMD national secretary said LAZ was an affiliate of other international law bodies, which put it in a position to ensure that Amsterdam is disciplined.

Amsterdam recently said those calling for the lifting of Banda's immunity were playing the role of "useful idiots".

"LAZ is a member of other international law organisations; why are they not using those international legal channels and processes if they consider his (Amsterdam) behaviour inconsistent with the legal etiquette?" Kalumba asked.

He said Amsterdam had violated the basic legal ethics, which warranted disciplinary action against him, adding that it was only LAZ that was capable of pursuing the matter.

"LAZ has a position on this matter that should be made known publicly. The more they (LAZ) keep quiet, the more panic it will cause among many Zambians who have not accepted the insults by Amsterdam. If Amsterdam gets away with this, Zambians will lose confidence in the judicial system," Kalumba said.

"A common saying says silence is a form of violence. Therefore, by keeping quiet, LAZ is provoking many Zambians who expect to get the guidance on how to proceed on the Amsterdam matter. Where does LAZ really stand?"

He also advised Amsterdam against using insults as a way of defending his client.

Kalumba said if Amsterdam was a legal practitioner of integrity and credibility, he would not have hurled insults at Zambians, who only complained about his client (Banda).

"When a lawyer resorts to insults, then legal reasoning has evaded that lawyer. It is not a legal strategy to insult a country or people in order to defend your client. If your client has a defensible case, you only resort to issues of facts, evidence or law in order to protect your client in the court of law," he said.

Kalumba wondered what law school Amsterdam went to which taught him to defend cases using insults.

"He must have gone to a law school and admitted to a particular bar and obviously he understands the legal etiquette that he is supposed to respect. He is the first lawyer I have heard using insults to defend cases," he said.

Kalumba explained that while he respected the idea that Banda had a right to use any lawyer of his choice to defend him in court, it was unacceptable for Amsterdam to continue provoking Zambians.

He has since advised Banda to find himself a decent lawyer because Amsterdam would not represent him effectively.

And Kalumba has condemned the negative perception and reporting being exhibited by some international media on Zambia's current political situation.

He said some foreign forces wanted to use their media to manage global perceptions on governments they either supported or opposed.
Kalumba said the Western media had a tendency of painting certain governments as darlings when there was tyranny in such countries.

"The Mobutu government in the then Zaire was for a long time a darling of the West, yet there was tyranny in the country. Zambia has a built-in mechanism for resolving conflicts which most international media do not understand. They don't understand the role of the Church, traditional and cultural leaders and non-governmental organisations," he said.

Kalumba urged the international media not to be used as a catalyst for creating failed states in the world.


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