The pattern has now become familiar.
Instead of invoking disciplinary procedures as outlined and established by statute, a direct approach is made to the President who invokes executive authority to exact retribution.
The instant expulsion of former Lusaka Town Centre Patriotic Front (PF) Chairman Julius Komaki by the President because he dared challenge the leadership style of the Secretary General Wynter Kabimba is neither just nor fair. Least of all because there is no telling how many other PF members are of the same view.
The fact that the expulsion was ordered by the President of the Party and executed almost instantly by Secretary General Wynter Kabimba does not legitimize the process. It takes away from the process of good governance and only adds anarchy.
It will be costly, unwieldy and a distraction if and when the expelled members seek redress in courts of law which will be required to establish if indeed the rules of natural justice were followed.
Natural justice and procedural fairness is a process that accords an accused an opportunity to be heard by an impartial decision maker. These rules apply in all circumstances including court cases where grave offences such as murder are tried.
There is also another rule: the bias rule. This rule demands that the decision maker should be disinterested and/or unbiased in the matter to be decided.
In other words Justice should not only be done but be seen to be done. The accuser should not be part of the investigation or adjudicating team.
Sadly in our country accusers are also prosecutors and finally manage to influence the final decisions.
To add insult to injury, Kabimba the complainant is the one to execute the expulsion!
In a democracy every individual has a right to express an opinion, however strongly and it cannot be for those spoken against to exact retribution without following the necessary disciplinary procedures.
This extreme display of intolerance and disregard of the constitution is not only disconcerting but casts a pall on the party leadership which should display a modicum of adherence to principles of justice, fair play and equity.
There is no doubt that the PF constitution provides for a disciplinary process that starts from branch, rising to the General Conference or other disciplinary body at the apex of the institution. The reason for this is simple; issues of discipline cannot be left at the caprice and biding of individuals however powerful.
Democracy as an ideal is the management of diversity and it is not cheap. It is demanding and exacting. That is why ruling elites considered it dangerous because they feared that oppressed masses would rise to demand social and political equality.
Their fears were well founded because at the heart of democracy is the notion that all are born equal and must therefore be accorded the same opportunity to defend their rights.