Monday, July 08, 2013

Nevers' anger with Supreme Court
By Editor
Wed 03 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

Nevers Mumba has every right to disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court to nullify Dora Siliya's election as member of parliament for Petauke Central. But Nevers doesn't have the right to insult the Supreme Court.

The decision by now suspended High Court judge Charles Kajimanga to uphold Dora's election as member of parliament for Petauke Central was clearly faulty, but no one denounced him in the manner Nevers is insulting the Supreme Court.

No one raised against Kajimanga the questions Nevers is raising against the Supreme Court. This is not because people had nothing to say about Kajimanga's judgment; it is simply because that is not the right way to deal with decisions of the courts one does not agree with.
If the courts have abused their powers, there are many legal avenues to address that. A complaint can be made against any judge one feels is corrupt and is handing out judgments in a manner that is corrupt.
But we understand where Nevers is coming from. Nevers is a leader of a political party that had a habit of abusing the Judiciary to procure judgments they desired. They had compromised some judicial officers to give them what they wanted. And today they think the Patriotic Front in government is doing what they used to do. If the Patriotic Front is indeed doing what the MMD used to do in government, let's have that addressed more openly and in accordance with the law.
The judges who presided over Dora's case are all identifiable. Let Nevers point out which of those judges has been compromised by the Patriotic Front leadership to deliver judgments in their favour.
It seems Nevers has no problem with the High Court of Zambia but has serious problems with the Supreme Court. Why? Is it because they have been getting their way with High Court judges whom they themselves had appointed or promoted? And how many judges both at the High Court and Supreme Court level have been appointed or promoted by the Patriotic Front government?
We think there is much more to learn from Nevers' claims and he should be asked a few questions so that more can come out from him. Let there be contempt proceedings against Nevers so that he can come and ulula - reveal everything that he knows about the alleged corruption and abuses of our Supreme Court judges.
But again, what will happen if Nevers is called to account for his claims against the Supreme Court is that he will cry victimisation, persecution. That's what they do. They do wrong things, injure other people's reputations but they don't want to account for what they have done. The best defence to any such claim is truth. If what Nevers is saying is true, there is nothing one can do against him. But let him come and show that his claim against the Supreme Court is true.
In our view, it is not really what the Patriotic Front wants from these election petitions that matters. What matters is what the MMD members of parliament whose elections have been petitioned did. If they did not engage in any electoral malpractices whatsoever, there is nothing the Patriotic Front and the courts can do against them.
But the reality before us is that electoral malpractices had become the order of the day for the MMD. Electoral malpractices were increasingly becoming the accepted way of conducting election campaigns. It had become normal in Zambia to bribe or corrupt the electorate. It had also become normal or acceptable to slander opponents in an election campaign, and this is why Nevers has difficulties accepting that an election could be nullified on account of slandering an opponent.
There is no doubt that Dora and her agents did slander their political opponents for the sole purpose of making them unelectable.
Dora is a liar who went around telling lies about her political opponents. And Dora's lies were brought to court. She could not deny them. And Kajimanga could not deny that Dora lied about her political opponents with the aim of discrediting them so that they are not elected and she is elected. This is an electoral malpractice that is not permitted under our electoral laws. Dora violated this and no fair court can ignore this fact and allow it to go unpunished. Dora is paying for her dirty, filthy and deceitful mouth.
There is need for our politicians to respect truth and their political opponents. Our courts of law have a duty to teach our politicians decent politics in this present atmosphere of fierce competition and character assassination. Election campaigns must be carried out in peaceful and honest ways, devoid of violence and slander of opponents. All must be guided by truth, integrity and justice.
Whatever the deficiencies some of the election petition judgments may have, what cannot be taken away from all these election petitions is the fact that our electoral system is being cleansed by the Judiciary. For this, our Judiciary deserves a lot of credit. There is no electoral malpractice that should be tolerated. We need zero tolerance to electoral malpractices.
And whatever motivation the Patriotic Front might have had in initiating these election petitions, they also deserve credit because our electoral system wouldn't have been subjected to this cleansing without their actions.
Nevers says the nullification of some opposition seats will create a one-party state. This is nonsense. What is he talking about? Does Nevers know what a one-party state is? And what did Nevers do to dismantle the one-party state that was in this country? Challenging electoral fraud through legitimate actions in the courts of law is not creating a one-party state. What is dangerous to our democracy is the perpetration of electoral fraud. And Nevers' party led the worst and most corrupt election campaigns ever known in the history of this country. They went too far and probably that's why even the election petitions against them have followed them that far.
We know Nevers and his friends are becoming desperate. Their numbers in Parliament, which they tried to use to protect their criminal behaviour, are no longer there. The only thing that will now save them is doing the right thing and sticking to the truth, and not insulting Supreme Court judges whose judgments they don't like.

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