Barely two days ago the Bishops of the Catholic Church in Zambia warned of impending chaos unless the rule of law prevailed. They warned of growing anger at the abuse of the law and infringement of entrenched rights. They called for a change in the tenor of political discourse to integrate a sense of ethical morality and propriety.
Yesterday a Minister of Government was doing the exact opposite. We can only assume that he was acting on behalf of President Sata, otherwise it is difficult to see why a Minister would willfully disregard court orders.
Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu a lawyer by profession was by yesterday reinforcing Police contingents outside the Zambezi Portland Cement factory to ensure that a writ of possession for Zambezi Portland Cement obtained by the Ventriglia’s was not enforced by the Sherriff of Zambia.
This is not how the law should operate and even Dr. Rajan Mathani must know that court orders however objectionable must be obeyed because redress procedures are always provided within the law.
What is happening at ZPC in Ndola is total anarchy. The Minister is fighting courts of law to defend Dr. Rajan Mahtani’s interest. This is totally unacceptable.
As if to mock the courts Dr. Mathani has now applied to the same Lusaka High Court, to seek a stay.
This is totally unacceptable!
Surely he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
Sadly Minister Lungu is going against the very advice proffered by Bishops. He is using authority to undermine good governance.
He has done this in many ways. He did it by deporting commercial opponents of Dr. Mathani and then deploying police to frustrate the service of legally executed orders, thus nullifying and undermining the independence, efficacy and relevance of the courts.
This is not all the Minister seems to have a penchant for making ill informed decision which have had the effect of undermining the credibility of the Government. His remarks on Dr. Nevers Mumba, President of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy are another example of lack of seriousness.
He claimed Dr. Mumba was President of the Reform Party and that records at the Registrar of Societies showed that former President Rupiah Banda was still President of the party.
As it turns out Lungu was being deliberately deceptive.
The Registrar of Societies accepted and acknowledged a change of leadership form which shows that Mr. Rupiah Banda relinquished his position and was subsequently replaced by Dr. Mumba.More importantly however the Reform Party is non existent and could not have made any recent returns indicating him as President.
That he could go public on a matter which he did not thoroughly investigate vindicates the position and observation that he lacks the seriousness that is required to serve in such a serious and sensitive position.
There are other examples; he deported a catholic priest for his homilies deemed to be anti establishment. That deportation has since been revoked indicating that it was ill founded. He the purported to deport former Managing Director of Zamtel, Hans Paulsen, who had already left the country many months earlier. He was forced to retract the erroneous statement.
Thirdly he deported the Ventriglia’s in unclear circumstances but intended to benefit Dr. Rajan Mathani their commercial opponent.
These are not the acts of serious deliberation.