Impeachment salvo

Like many other things the Government is not taking the impeachment threat very seriously, partly because of the numbers in the House. Those moving the motion require two thirds majority, which neither the opposition nor ruling party command.
The end result according to conventional wisdom is a stalemate, as neither the immunity clause nor impeachment motion will succeed in the House as currently constituted.
This however is beside the point.
The point that is  being made, and here it is important that the ruling party takes heed, the point being made is that opposition leaders on behalf of many Zambians want a strong and institutional framework that will undergird the growing liberal democracy that we are building.
Political and constitutional instability that is being fomented by deliberate and provocative acts inspired by the ruling party are not contributing towards creating a stable state they are instead a recipe for civil instability which will claw back the many gains we have made in building a strong and resilient democracy.
So far our democracy has until now transcended the regional, tribal and social divide. Every Province indeed all the people except perhaps for some in Barotseland considered themselves as members of one unitary state in which they could participate equally.
Dr. Kaunda bequeathed Zambia the one Zambia one nation philosophy that has united the country and Dr. Chiluba and his colleagues built a multiparty democracy that chose to ingrain constitutionality and rule of law in politics, commerce and trade.
Outsiders were welcome to share in the regeneration of our economy including the mining industry through the Greenfield policy.
These principles of inclusiveness and commonality of purpose are slowly being undone.
At the heart of the disillusionment is the status of our Judiciary. The Judiciary, the venerable pillar of governance is laboring under a severe state of stress. It has suffered attacks and continues to labour in circumstances that Zambians, most of all the Law Association of Zambia find totally intolerable.
The Government appears totally indifferent to a point where the President had to receive a rebuke from Parliament over his appointment of Justice Lombe Chibesakunda as the Substantive Chief Justice- totally against the constitution.
This is the point that those collecting signatures for impeachment would like to make. They are questioning the legitimacy of Presidential executive authority, to disregard the constitution, order wholesale by-elections which will cost the country dearly and indeed put state institutions at the service of the ruling party.
The principle of separation of power demands a Judiciary that is independent and therefore impartial. It demands a judiciary that should not be easily amenable to destabilization by a Chikopa debacle instigated by executive pressure.
It should be a Judiciary that is beyond reproach, a Judiciary that will enjoy the respect and confidence of all Zambians.
It is clear that under the present leadership this is not possible.
Institutions of Governance such as the Anti Corruption Commission should equally be above board and beyond reproach. This again is not possible. The illegal removal of the last Director General at the instigation of individuals that are in court of fraudulent misrepresentation involving billions of Kwacha has emasculated the institution.
The Police Service has not been spared.
It is unheard of for a police service to singularly pursue an opposition leader of the Highway, arrest him for overspeeding and illegal assembly.
It is only an over politicized Police Service that will concern itself with the content of political rallies as the Inspector General has already done by warning  Politicians of dire consequences for defaming the President.
Ordinary citizens have been called to the Lusaka Central Police Station where they have been interrogated about their party affiliation.
This is unheard of. The President is a politician first and foremost. He gained power by using robust language to conscientise and awaken the citizenry to the ills that were endemic in the last Government. He told Zambians that Mr. Rupiah Banda had failed miserably in providing money in their pockets let alone creating jobs.
It was on this premise that the MMD Government was removed from Government. It was removed because of the power of ideas and creation of a vision.
This was possible because the space and opportunity was availed to the opposition to interact with the populace.
The situation has changed since the Patriotic Front came into power. For the first time in the History of this country Tribe has become a factor. Slowly too Party affiliation is becoming yet another dividing pre-requisite.
Slowly but surely we are drifting apart because the glue that united us, the glue that bound us as united country with common aspiration is slowly evaporating as system are being put in place to dilute the very liberties and freedoms that Zambians fought for in their quest to remove the one party state.
Somehow the PF does not seem to see the point; perhaps the impeachment motion will jolt them into realization.
We reproduce today a perspective of our country as seen from other vantage points.

Categorized | Editorial

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