Legality and legitimacy

Zambia finds itself in a very unique position, where a cartel, responsible for the theft of billions of Kwacha in public funds is intent on setting and championing a national agenda against corruption.
Apart from being a contradiction in terms, this is a still born fool’s exercise, lacking in any semblance of legitimacy hence the failure of the very elaborate but unprincipled schemes.
One such scheme having been the rushed removal of immunity from former Republican President Rupiah Banda. This may have worked for  second Republican President but not any more.
Any exercise that does not provide for the principle of natural justice is flawed and should not be given any moral or indeed legal legitimacy.  This is what they did to FJT.
For the avoidance of any doubt let it be said once again that we totally oppose the removal of immunity from the former President Mr. Rupiah because the action was precipitate and an affront to decency, fair play and justice.
We totally reject the notion being advanced that the action was in the interest of fighting corruption, graft and crime.
There are ways of enforcing the law which are generally agreed and these do not include ambushing and strategizing in a manner that deliberately disadvantages one group for the purpose of “vanquishing” another, because the ultimate result of such an exercise is illegitimacy.
The concept of civil legitimacy  is predicated on the assumption that  any  political legitimacy of a  government is premised on universal norms which encompass the support and consensus of  the broadest possible range of constituencies including  the legislature, judiciary, executive, civil society and the public in general for the common purpose of achieving a common good.
An action that does not enjoy public trust can not be said to enjoy the sympathy and therefore support of a common good.
We have given this example before: The South African National Assembly legislated for apartheid. They passed laws and by laws that not only created but actually enforced racial segregation with a brutality only seen in Nazi Germany.
Law enforcement agencies including courts were made to enforce the laws.
Were these laws legal. Yes they were. Were they legitimate- far from it.
That is why judicial activism became the norm. That is why there was resistances and indeed that is why Nelson Mandela is an icon because he stood for justice, fairness and equity.
We stand by the side of justice. We do not believe that a law that fails to provide for natural justice can be said to be legitimate. It is an affront to reason and rationality.  The American   Ralph A Dahl has characterized legitimacy as a reservoir of authority; “so long as the water is at a given level, political stability is maintained, if it falls below the required level, political legitimacy is endangered.”
It is unacceptable, immoral and most certainly not legitimate that a Cabinet Minister embroiled in a corruption debate should be the one to file a graft charge in Parliament without giving the victim an opportunity to be heard.
It is therefore correct to characterize such proceedings as sheer persecution.

Categorized | Editorial

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