PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has won the admiration and support of many Zambians for the courageous and resolute manner in which he has tackled the “untouchable” and powerful cartel which has brought down many Presidents.
For the first time in many years Zambians are proud of an independent Head of State who is not held captive by the cartel. They have a President who can act without fear or favour, a President who acts in the best interest of the country and not out of fear of offending his sponsors.
The President has not shied away from hard decisions, not even from the corrupt oil procurement cartels that have milked billions from the Zambian people through over-priced fuel.
Suddenly the powerful and almighty who sent Presidents to courts of law, are afraid of the courts, scared to face the law which they pontificated for others. They are now left floundering for every conceivable excuse not to face the law.
Zambians witnessed how the mighty conspired to prosecute victims in the court of public opinion through the newspaper which conspired with the prosecution authority. The tribunal should not fall into this trap otherwise evidence will be twisted and witnesses suffer direct attacks. Not too many want their names in the media, not even for good things.
The Mukelabai Mukelabai tribunal, which was occasioned by the fraudulent lies fabricated by Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe who used the Post newspaper to publicly vilify a hapless man, was held in camera. Why should Mutembo’s be held in the open? So that they can manipulate proceedings?
The mighty are scared. They want to undermine the process. They have failed to scare Edgar and will do anything to frustrate the process through the media. This includes disparaging the person of the tribunal convener, President Lungu. They have even tried to raise doubts about the capacity of tribunal members, all of them former Chief Justices of this country.
That is why Zambians are not surprised nor overly concerned by the newspaper’s morbid preoccupation over Edgars health. The preoccupation is unhealthy. It displays a sick and very unhealthy engagement with a matter that should elicit empathy and must command a modicum of medical confidentiality, in the same manner any citizen would be entitled to.
The fact that Edgar has made very hard decisions, concerning the misconduct of former Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito should not translate into a morbid interest in his health by seeking and publishing negative comments from all their known allies. In traditional African society, such ill will is called witchcraft.
Rightly the Zambia Medical Association has cautioned politicians who are also medical practitioners to desist from commenting on and making political capital of the President’s medical condition.
Certainly it is not for church leaders to pronounce themselves on matters medical, in solemn tones conveying a finality that is totally disproportionate to the reality as stated by medical officers who have been attending to the President.
The truth will eventually come out. The tribunal should be the starting point, for as a long as it is managed in a manner that evidence is not subjected to malicious interpretation through leaks and exposures intended to undermine the evidence and those who present it.
This is only possible if the tribunal imposes punitive action against leaks otherwise the country will be subjected to verbatim leakages, that will be manipulated to cast the entire exercise in bad light to undermine proceedings.
Short of body searching all the participants, the tribunal must watch out for respondents or witnesses using bugs and secret recording equipment.
Secret recordings are the bane of any process and should not be allowed to mar this very important exercise.