Intellectual bankruptcy

When Western Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta pummeled and assaulted Mazabuka Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo resulting in his hospitalization. There was deadly silence from civil society and non-Governmental organizations.

This was in spite of the fact that the assault occurred in full view of Police Officers at a Police station.

Obvious Mwaliteta was not arrested. He was allowed to go home. Instead Garry Nkombo who had gone to the Police station to report an attack by  Patriotic Front cadres was arrested and eventually charged with murder.

This was an outrage and clear abuse of law which did not evoke any outpouring of protestation.

 Later the ordeal was narrated to a Magistrate who ordered for Nkombo to attend medical treatment and obtain a medical report for the injuries he suffered in the Mwaliteta assault. The Police  simply ignored and refused to effect the order.

It took the arrest of senior officer to compel the Police take Hon Nkombo to the Hospital for treatment. Even then the medical report was stolen, as Hon Nkombo was abducted in the dead of night from his hospital bed- on police orders.

In all his travails there was not a single word from the vocal non Governmental organizations.

When he eventually addressed Parliament to disclose the wanton abuse of state authority, none of the members on the Government bench even acknowledged, nor apologized for the ordeal that Nkombo and the other incarcerated members of the UPND suffered in a Police operation that was faulty from start.

Anybody concerned with human rights could clearly see that the by elections in Livingstone were fraught with serious abuses that included gun fire, open distribution of funds, violence and the chasing away of party agents in counting centres.

To all this the entire civil society turned a blind eye.

Amazingly all it took was the index finger raised by Hon Dora Siliya as she walked out of Parliament to get all civil society groups to wake up from their slumber and unleash their angst at the “affront” and insult directed at the people’s house.

Few were even bothered by the context of the walk out. They were more concerned by the index finger.

Sadly this is the extent to which we have been reduced, to trivialities.

The issue of the former Presidents immunity was a momentous and grave matter that should not have been dealt with in the cavalier manner it was.

Firstly there was no indication of the procedure used to determine that the matter was appropriately prepared for the National Assembly.  In essence there was no scrutiny by any subcommittee of the house to ensure that the issues raised were genuine and therefore merited debate in the house.

It is wrong that a former President is prosecuted by a team of interested parties with vested interested and political retribution to exact.

The Presidency must be treated with more seriousness. There is no telling where the charges Wynter was reading emanated from and there is equally no telling how the charges were processed before being presented to the House.

In the interest of transparency, openness and justice the House, through an appropriate committee should have been accorded an opportunity to examine the charges before a determination was made to present the matter directly to the house.

Ambushing the house via caucus in which members had little say is not transparency.


One thought on “Intellectual bankruptcy

  1. That is why we need politics that is based on principles in Zambia which could necessitate the rise of a new breed of leaders. We were able to challenge the one-party state regime by staring death squarely in the face whilst we fought running battles with Kaunda’s brutal paramilitary forces due to principles. This is what came to pass when we were fired upon with live bullets, teargased, imprisoned and tortured. This is not say that there were no leaders of such calibre in the past, but it is just that in the last 20 years, there has been a burgeoning of useless political leaders and unfortunately, with the support of the citizens. It is also important to bring to the fore, in this scenario, the role of academics and students. Quintessentially, they have to be champions of social justice and act as liberators of their societies from all forms of tyranny. This is what transpired in Zambia in the fight against the one-party state. In the same vein, academic discourse can ill-afford to be insular in societies such as Zambia and Africa in general, in pursuit of some abstract and esoteric objectives. Instead, academic analyses and researches must at all times be dynamos of liberation and societal change. The survivalist mode that these have taken in Zambia in the last two decades is neither practical nor sustainable. There is a need for these individuals to be torch-bearers of freedom and human dignity. In an atmosphere where ignorance reigns supreme, and where ethnic mobilisation has been elevated to governance levels (whilst some sections of the society see nothing wrong with this situation); and where politicians continue to drive the country’s development agenda on a trial and error basis, academics and students, more than ever, must challenge such deleterious acts and provide alternatives that are underpinned by scientific thought and evidence.

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