Hon Chishimba Kambwili must apologize to Fr. Frank Bwalya for suggesting that he was insane.
Fr. Bwalya is not mad. He is saying things that many of us are too scared to say and sometimes for good reason too. Soon after the famous radio Phonix interview last Friday, party vigilantes invaded Levy Junctions looking for Fr. Bwalya who was reportedly shopping at the centre.
Why they wanted him is anybody’s guess.
The unruly vigilantes fought a running battle with the Police, a number were arrested for assaulting officers but were later released on orders from high up.
This unfortunately is the state of our fast deteriorating democratic credentials. This is the Zambia that is emerging where law breakers, thieves, forgers, extortionists are thriving at the expense of people of integrity and good will.
Hon Kambwili must understand that Fr. Bwalya has inalienable constitutional rights. He is free to express himself in any manner he chooses provided he does so within the law, which he did. He is speaking out against impunity.
Our current political climate is highly volatile with vigilantes terrorizing ordinary citizens with all manner of illegal activities. They are invading and demarcating land to the horror of titled land owners. The vigilantes are also coercing street vendors into paying illegal levies, they have invaded markets and bus stations extorting money from operators.
This is not the Zambia we want.
It is very clear that things are going wrong in our country. Institutions of governance that should ensure protect the people including the Police and Judiciary are no longer what they are supposed be, because they are compromised.
Otherwise, how does Mr Kambwili explain the arrest of NAREP President Elias Chipimo who was conducting a party workshop. There was absolutely nothing criminal about his conduct but Police still arrested him because they have been conditioned to believe that opposition members are enemies of state.
This is the culture that is developing in our country.
The Police who should be serving the greater interest of the nation are now party cadres. This can be proved by Police conduct in Livingstone where opposition members were arrested and even charged with murder when it was common knowledge that they were innocent. The Minister who assaulted an opposition member in the presence of the police was left scot free.
The Police also still have to explain the presence of heavily armed men in red T-shirts who were in Mufumbwe where again opposition members were harassed, arrested and prosecuted although PF vigilantes were involved in brawls in which a fire arm was discharged.
The situation is fast developing where the tenets of democracy are being subverted with impunity to the detriment of the future.
The worst part is that the Judiciary has not been spared.
The Law Association of Zambia has made its position on reform very clear but the President has chosen to disregard their counsel. He would rather listen to people who want a highly compromised judiciary that will save them from their thefts, debts and corruption.
This is what Fr. Bwalya is talking about.
The Sata he knew would have taken heed of the advise coming from a body that is professional and above board such as LAZ..
Somehow, as Fr. Bwalya would say, narrow partisan interests have taken control of instruments of state to allow a situation where that should champion the cause of justice in the campaign against corruption is totally compromised.
Fr. Bwalya has said correctly and the Law Association of Zambia would agree with him that judicial reforms are dead and done with.
The reason for the malaise is simple. There is a clique that has hijacked instruments of state. According to Fr. Bwalya a corrupt and thieving clique is influencing the Judiciary, the police and other arms of Governance to subvert natural justice, good governance and indeed observance of the rule of law.
Hon Kambwili must learn that power is ephemeral. He will not be in power for too long, but the culture he will have helped create will live long after him.