FODEP director Macdonald Chiepnzi says the recent development and circumstances leading to the release of the two political figures leaves much to be desired and raises more questions instead of answers on pardon.
‘Further, it has not only exposed the weakness in the law in terms of promoting transparency and accountability in such matters, especially enforcing Articles 59 and 60 of the current Republican Constitution but also that the two articles can easily be abused for partisan purpose in times of political and electoral panic by ruling elites.
‘The action by Dr. Scott already has demonstrated that the recent release of Dr. Mpombo who has some political influence in Ndola Rural and Hon Masumba for use in North-Western Province, were before their conviction, strong sympathizers of the ruling party and now full time ruling party’s candidate endorsers barely 24 hrs after being liberated from prison, signals the motive behind their release,’ Chipenzi said.
He said If the prerogative of mercy was exercised in a non-partisan manner, Moses Muteteka, Chisamba MMD MP who faces almost similar predicament, would also been pardoned ‘but seems to have missed the mercy giver due to belonging to a wrong political persuasion.’
‘If the criterion used to pardon the two political party figures was based on their contribution to national service, then Hon. Muteteka deserves the same measure of consideration of pardon as he has served this country in several capacities longer than some of the freed persons.
‘It is for this reason that FODEP is consistently calling for the enactment of a new Constitution to address the discriminatory exercise of executive powers on citizens.’