Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Who is killing MMD?
By Editor
Sun 02 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

Kapembwa Simbao, the MMD national secretary, says it will be unfair for a parliamentary candidate whose election has been nullified not to be allowed to re-contest the seat.

And Simbao has accused the Patriotic Front of trying to kill the MMD by insisting on those whose elections have been nullified through election petitions in the courts of law not being allowed to re-contest.

What is unfair with the Patriotic Front insisting on the law being followed to the letter? Here, there is no arbitrary action on the part of the Patriotic Front. And this matter has to be decided by the courts of law and not the Patriotic Front itself, or anyone else for that matter.

It is up to the courts to decide in accordance with the law as to whether or not those whose seats have been nullified should be allowed to re-contest. If the courts say they should be allowed to re-contest, there is nothing the Patriotic Front can do other than to meet them in the by-election campaigns.

What Simbao is asking for is lawlessness, impunity and anarchy. If the law has been broken, those who have done so should be dealt with in accordance with the law. Section 22 of the electoral Act of 2006 states that an aspiring candidate convicted of any corrupt practice or illegal practice or who is reported guilty of any corrupt practice as determined by the Supreme Court or High Court shall not be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly. This is what the law that the MMD in government enacted. This was not a law bequeathed to the MMD by some ancestor. It is a law that they themselves made. Who did they make this law for if it shouldn't apply to them, if it should exempt them? They say the law is blind and when you make a law, you are making it for everyone, including yourself. And let credit be given where it is due: this was a very good law by the MMD for which they deserve a lot of credit.

So, where do the evil intentions of the Patriotic Front come in on this issue? Even if they had any such evil intentions, what would they do if this law enacted by the MMD was not there or if MMD candidates were not involved in electoral malpractices and corruption?

And Simbao is hoping that the churches can take this issue seriously and pray about it. Is Simbao serious? He wants the church to embrace and condone corruption and other electoral abuses? Simbao is asking the church to pray for the perpetration of electoral corruption and malpractices! A church that will respond favourably to Simbao's request will lose its standing.

There has to be equality before the law, or equal protection of the law. This is fundamental to any just and democratic society. And under no circumstances should the law be bent to simply accommodate the wishes of one group of people. The law should deal evenly and equally with all citizens. No one is above the law, which is, after all, the creation of the people, not something imposed upon them. The MMD should be the first ones to submit themselves to this law because they are the ones who sponsored it, who created it and enacted it.

When laws are established by the people who then have to obey them, both law and democracy are served.

The MMD should simply accept the consequences of their actions. It is an undisputable fact that in 2011, the MMD led a very corrupt election campaign that had never been seen in this country before. They thought they were smart, but they were not clever - the law caught up with them. They thought they would get away with it but now, they are looking like soaked chickens - as the Chewas say, tambala obvumbwa alibe msika.

There was unfair competition in the 2011 elections. Competing with people who are dishing out all sorts of gifts obtained with stolen public money is not an easy thing. And this can never be said to be fair. If Simbao has any bit of fairness in his heart, he would realise that his party went into the 2011 elections on a very unfair footing. They abused every public institution and resources that were placed under their control. And this was to the disadvantage of their competitors then in the opposition. But as they say, life is like a big wheel: the one who is at the top today, tomorrow is at the bottom.

Accusing the Patriotic Front of evil over something they have not done wrong won't do. And we are reminded in Proverbs 26:2: "Curses cannot hurt you unless you deserve them. They are like birds that fly by and never light." They thought they were clever, but "the most stupid fool is better off than someone who thinks he is wise when he is not" (Proverbs 26:12).

We don't think the MMD ever thought they would be caught so badly by a law, a trap that they themselves set for others. But we are told that those who set traps for others get caught themselves and that people who start landslides get crushed. Insincerity brings nothing but ruin. Things you get by dishonesty soon disappear, but not before they lead you into the jaws of death.

Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways. And when justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair. The wicked bring on themselves the suffering they try to cause good people. Wicked people are always hungry for evil: they have no mercy on anyone.

But in this life, we should be prepared to live with the consequences of everything we do. Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame others.

Condemning the innocent or letting the wicked go - both are not acceptable. It is not right to favour the guilty and keep the innocent from receiving justice. Corruption, wickedness does not give security.

Even from a moral point of view, what Simbao is asking for is not acceptable. Why should those who engage in corruption be allowed to benefit from their own corruption? These by-elections have been caused by the corrupt deeds of MMD candidates. Why should those corrupt elements be allowed to participate in processes which their corrupt behaviour has caused the nation to incur unnecessary by-election expenditure?

If these corrupt elements are all the MMD has and without them, the party is dead, then it deserves to die, it has no purpose to continue in existence. However, this cannot be true because there are many decent people in the MMD whom the party can field instead of those who committed crimes, those who engaged in corrupt electoral practices. It is not PF that is killing MMD; it is MMD that is killing itself, that is committing suicide.

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