By Andrew Njovu
The 1969 Zambia Law Report in a case of SIBONGO V. SHANKANGA has a very interesting court judgement. On page 151 last paragraph the court said First of all I should point out that the relief claimed by the plaintiff is through out equitable relief and that it is a well established maxim that ‘ he who comes to equity must come with clean hands’ and ‘ he who seeks equity must do equity”.
And on page 153 of the same law report line no 13, the court ruled that ‘ I come to the conclusion therefore that the plaintiff not having come with clean hands, is not entitled to the equitable remedy which he seeks and I dismiss his claim accordingly with costs”.
The closure of Post newspaper has annoyed UPND and Mr Hakainde Hichilema and HH has given President Edgar Lungu an ultimatum over the matter. Does HH Know what he is doing? Is he the right person to issue that ultimatum? I am raising the issue of integrity and morality over his ultimatum in view of a SPEECH which appeared in DAILY NATION NEWSPAPER of Tuesday 31 MAY 2016 in which Mr Hichilema is being accused by a group of 236 BP pensioners of withholding to their money.
The article which appeared in the DAILY NATION of 31 MAY 2016 says “ At the Apex of the Matrix is a company called MENEL Management SERVICES. The shareholders in MENEL are Mr Hakainde Hichilema, Mr Munakupya Hanttuba, Mr Valentine Chitalu and Mr BRANADFORD Machila’”. The speech goes on and says “Below Menel is AFRICA Life FINANCIAL SERVICES, which holds 82,000,000 ( eighty two million) shares and their partners are Botswana insurance fund management limited which holds 80,000,000( eighty million) shares.”: The article continues and says ‘ AFRICA LIFE FINANCIAL SERVICES IS MAJORITY SHAREHOLDERS in SATUMIA REGNA PENSION TRUST LTD with a few individuals holding a very s mall percentage off minority shares. This therefore means Menel AND Botswana insurance fund are the blood and flesh behind the company and the saga we are talking about today”. The article goes further and says ‘We have made our demands on Mr Hichilema because he holds majority shares in the company that is clinging to our money. The matrix above confirms his ownership of shares in SATURNIA and benefits consulting services the company that are required by law to protect our benefits”.
My argument in this article is that since Mr Hakainde Hichilema is being accused by the 236 pensioners of un ethical conduct not benefitting a person vying for the highest office in the land- Mr Hichilema therefore has no moral standing , moral right to take a position has taken over the closure of the POST NEWSPAPER. There are many people out there who have this moral standing and moral right to issue such statements but its not him.
Must we believe that by siding with the POST’s failures and wrong doings, Mr Hichilema is exhibiting his true colours of a person who has no regard for the law?
Must we believe that Mr Hichilema’s political statement that he would reduce poverty level once voted into office are but mere rhetoric and mean nothing? Must we believe these things? Must we believe that Mr Hichilema by siding with the POST who are holding onto the money which is meant to reduce poverty levels and uplift the standard of living of the people is a demonstration that he has no heart for the poor of this country ?
The Jesuit Centre For Theological Reflection(JCTR) in one of their bulletins N0 87 say “ Taxation is meant for the common good and therefore the manner in which the process is conducted should be participatory so as to offer citizens the opportunity to outline their own development “
Mr Hichilema is an economist himself and fully knows that economies through out the world depend on resources collected from both direct and indirect tax to enhance government activities. No government (even the government that HH may form if elected) can be sustained without mechanisms for generating revenues.
HH knows the truth –but wants to throw away these values and trample upon them. JCTR in their same bulletin go further and argue that “taxes therefore help in reducing the gap between the rich and the poor”.
HH therefore by choosing to rally behind a wrong doer, at a time he is supposed to show solidarity with the poor, by persuading his friend Fred M’membe to give to CAESAR what is due to Caesar, is showing us who he truly is, unworthy our vote.
“Render therefore to all their due, taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour” Romans 13 V 7.
“ Therefore, whoever resists the authority, resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves” Romans 13 v. 2
The author is member of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace(CCJP) and chairperson for the JESUIT CENTRE FOR THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION(JCTR) Kasama outreach team. The author is also recipient of World Bank award on good governance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org