Heritage party leader General Brigadier Godfrey Miyanda has demanded for the transfer of the current Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba from the ministry because he is a PF cadre.
And Gen Miyanda has asked President Michael Sata to appoint a person who will act beyond partisan lines in this strategic ministry and who would support the rule of Law and be custodian of our democracy.
He said that Mr Kabimba by revealing that he had instructed PF lawyers to “engage” the High Court to act to stop certain opposition MPs from standing in the forthcoming by-elections, had abdicated his ministerial portfolio.
Gen Miyanda noted that Mr Kabimba took off his Justice shield and donned the PF cadre cap by speaking as Secretary General rather than Minister of Justice.
“We take this to be an attempt to disguise the fact that he is the Minister of Justice at all times who should never act in a partisan way. How can the Justice Ministry remain under a person who has shown clearly that he is a cadre first and Minister of Justice last?
“I believe that this PF “Stop Dora” Campaign is politically motivated due to the PF’s desperation and fear of future by-elections. While it is in order for the PF or any other aggrieved person to go to court to raise issues regarding an election, the latest tactics by the PF Secretary General are baffling,” he said.
He observed that under our laws it is not automatic that finding that there was corruption in an election always ended in a disqualification from participation in future elections and this would depend on the evidence.
“I thus find the tactics being applied by the Minister to be not only irregular but premature and presumptuous. The Minister, himself a lawyer, announced that he had instructed his lawyers to “engage” the High Court. What is this “engage” language?
“Rather, an appropriate process is commenced which involves other parties rather than conducting a private “engagement”. How do you challenge something that has not yet happened? Minister Kabimba’s lawyers may end up having no one to sue and instead “engage” the High Court alone! The PF are in such a panic rush to get hold of the Report that they have decided to make desperate short cuts,” Miyanda said.
He said there was a process to be followed after a determination of a petition by the High Court and that the court would prepare a report and invite the concerned parties to explain why they are named in the report.
He explained that the report would then be submitted to the ECZ and the DPP.
“The Report would be sent to the ECZ and the DPP; with the DPP to establish whether there was sufficient evidence to warrant a prosecution under the corrupt acts under the electoral law. Here I contend that this is a matter for the DPP and NOT the ACC because the offences are corrupt and/or illegal acts under the electoral law,” he stated.
Gen Miyanda warned that courts should not be badgered by the Minister of Justice into doing things that were not procedural.
He advised that instead of creating so many by-elections the Minister should consider rejecting the whole 2011 election including that of the President, as it was the credibility of the whole election that was now in question.
He said this should be done without going to court to trouble and pressurise the judiciary and the hard-working ECZ.