Heritage Party president Brigadier Gen Godfrey Miyanda has called on lawyers in Zambia to stand up and stop the Executive’s interference in the Judiciary.
In an open later to the legal fraternity obtained by the Daily Nation yesterday, Brig Gen Miyanda asked citizens to stop the abuse of the Judiciary by the appointing authority.
“When a regime demonstrates its prowess/power but ignores the Constitution and other laws, it is time for all right-thinking citizens to speak out and not pretend to be “good boys and girls”,
That time is now. Do not wait to put on your gowns and wigs but put on boxing gloves because it is right for all to speak out and challenge the blatant abuse of citizens’ rights and breaches of the Constitution. The writing is on the wall!” he said
He said these things were going on while the majority of the legal fraternity had become idle spectators.
He called on the lawyers to put on their non-partisan spectacles and see clearly that the whole nation is adrift and needed direction.
“We need dialogue not threats, intimidation and/or bribery and buying of opposition members of parliament…..In keeping with certain protocols and professional training, many legal persons are quiet even in the face of obnoxious and outrageous breaches of the Republican Constitution.
While I appreciate the importance of professional discipline and etiquette there comes a time when enough can be judged to be enough” read his statement in part.
Gen Miyanda who was addressing the legal fraternity in his personal capacity emphasised that the issue of stopping the constitutional breaches by the Patriotic Front regime was a non-partisan issue which should be embraced by all from the political divide.He further questioned the legal fraternity’s indifference to the current curtailing of civil liberties by the PF government despite legal precedence being available to guide them.
“Politics is about debate; opposition parties are being prevented from holding public rallies in spite of the landmark ‘Mulundika and Others’ judgment – you are silent! Equally, demonstrations, which are part of the democratic discourse, have been curtailed.
In the Mulundika case, His Lordship the former Chief Justice Matthew Ngulube pointed out that it would be expecting too much of those in power to be generous in allowing their opponents a free ride in holding rallies. How true has that powerful judgement become today?” he asked.
Gen Miyanda also stated that Zambia was currently being ruled by a regime that used threats against MPs, chiefs, journalists, students, church leaders and even defence service chiefs.
Gen Miyanda’s statement comes on the back drop of mounting calls by civil society and individuals for the President Sata to address the nation.
Since his election, the President has not called for a Press conference to address the nation and only appears at momentarily events to swear in appointees.At a number of these swearing-in ceremonies, the President has mocked public officials and citizens with the latest being a police officer who was scolded over his weight.
Last month, the President publicly derided chief Jumbe over his statement calling for non-interference in politics by chiefs after a pro-regime chief was paraded at a public rally.
Early this year, Gen Miyanda in various media called on the President to address the nation. He also made the same call last year but the President has remained quiet to these calls.