Zambia not failed State, says Chitala


PROTESTATIONS and sectarian criticisms by veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga and other intellectuals in the diaspora, demonising the country’s leadership and Constitutional Court judges, are tantamount to insurrection in the country, former diplomat Mbita Chitala has warned.

Dr Chitala, who is a former ambassador to Libya, expressed gratitude  that President Edgar Lungu had addressed some of the issues that tended to sow seeds of division in the country by announcing his intention to appoint a commission of inquiry to establish the cause of post-election violence.

He noted that he was alive to the ‘‘unfair and sectarian’’ criticisms that had been advanced by some intellectuals in the diaspora some of whom compared Zambia to a failed state.

Dr Chitala said he was saddened by remarks by Dr Mwaanga and Dr. Skecthley Sacika denouncing Constitutional Court judges in ‘‘a very unfair way’’.

“I am alive to the unfair and rather sectarian criticisms that have been advanced by some of our diaspora intellectuals who went so far as unfairly associating our country to a failed state.  I am also alive to the lame protestations of two of our senior citizens, Dr. V.J. Mwaanga and Dr. Skecthley Sacika who demonized our Constitutional Court judges in a very unfair way. All these expressions including by one Larry Mweetwa, a Zambian working in the British army,” he said.

Dr Chitala charged that senior citizens were calling for insurrection in the country, adding that it was an unfortunate conduct as they were simply expressions of frustration and disappointment at the loss of their favoured political party.

He said the initiative by President Lungu to appoint a commission of inquiry to establish the cause of the post-election violence should be lauded and supported by all peace-loving Zambians.

Dr Chitala, who is also MMD founder member and political scientist, explained that one of the structural problems that contributed to disunity in the country was the current Constitution which, he said, was rushed and that it left too many loose ends.

He warned that the Constitution would continue to divide the nation and that there was need to quickly repeal it.

“Government must consider quickly repealing Article 101(4-7), 103(1-5), 104 (3-4) on presidential election petitions and Article 105(8-10) that requires the Speaker to act as President of the republic. Our submission is that our Government must consider reverting to the provisions of the Zambia Independence Order 1964, the Constitution of Zambia Cap 1, Chapter IV, Part 1, and Article 33(1) which provided for the election of the President in a multi-party, multi-ethnic dispensation.

‘‘Article 33(4)a-g of the 1964 Independence Constitution left to us by the British took into account the ethnic, religious  and social characteristics of their former colonies,” he said.