The Supreme Court of Zambia cannot continue to bury its head in the sand and pretend that the nullification of opposition seats is purely the function of electoral malpractices.
This is not true.
The by elections are the result of a carefully calculated political ploy by the ruling Patriotic Front to change the character of the National Assembly to its numerical favour. All losing candidates were made to petition their seats, even where the candidates themselves were convinced of the trouncing they received.
Our statement that the cynical PF ploy has never been tried anywhere else in the world by a winning party that seeks to remedy a hung Parliament.
It has also become very clear that the petitions, especially those before the Supreme Court, are couched in a very similar manner to emphasize the issue of donations which seems to be the main reason the court has been giving and an argument that has compelled nullification.
Our highest court is responding to a political campaign.
We say so because the court must be aware that the resultant nullifications give rise to huge expenditure and even more electoral excesses by the ruling party which has access to public resources, as resources expended including visits by the President and other senior Government officials whose cost is far more than the original “offender “ may have spent.
We are agreeing entirely with the ruling made by some High Court Judges who have questioned the materiality of donations to the final outcome of the elections in a particular constituency.
We are left to wonder how a donation of Chitenge could materially affect the outcome of an election when all the parties were involved in campaigns in which such materials were freely distributed and displayed at election campaign and rallies.
At the rate we are going the Supreme Court will unwittingly be party to a political ploy that will bequeath the people of Zambia a faulty constitution.
Very soon the country will be faced with a constitution, which is the result of a very acrimonious process in which the technical committee has expressed serious misgivings because the Government has refused to proceed by the terms of reference.
No doubt the document, however faulty, will be brought before Parliament for approval.
If the Supreme Court continues to operate as a technical team only concerned with miniscule infarctions, it will certainly allow the ruling party to pass an unpopular constitution which will ultimately affect the court itself.We appeal to all Zambians to look beyond the present and ensure that this country is managed in a manner that will offer a secure peaceful and strong, democratic future.