By Judith Mulenga ( ZCE director)
Self defense is a fundamental human right and is guaranteed by Zambian laws so why is President Edgar Chagwa Lungu angry with people who simply point out that they are tired of being beaten, maimed and even killed for exercising other fundamental rights enshrined in the same Constitution? The Bill of Rights Article 11(a) and Article 12(3)(a) provides for self defense.
Further, Section 17 of the Penal Code says and I quote, ‘Subject to any other provisions of this Code, or any other law for the time being in force, a person shall not be criminally responsible for the use of force in repelling an unlawful attack upon his person or property, or the other person or the person or property of any other person, if the means he uses and the degree of force he employs in doing so are no more than is necessary in the circumstances to repel the unlawful attack.’ “Panga for panga” or “defend yourselves” are self defense and in line with our Constitution and Section 17 of the Penal Code. It is reactionary and NOT proactive.
Who is being hypocritical here?
Mr. President, most of us who are not actively involved in politics believe the UPND’s decision to finally defend themselves against the PF’s brutality is long overdue. Why is the President angry with the underdogs who choose to stand up to the bullies! Where is the morality in that? Nobody, fool or reasonable person wants to start a war in Zambia. What we all want is to have the same democratic space as your PF cadres. It is everyone’s fundamental right and rights are non negotiable Mr. President.
The President may publicly direct the Minister of Home Affairs and the police Inspector General to arrest the anonymous fool that he thinks wants to start a war in Zambia but this anonymous fool’s case will end up in a nolle prosequi as did Mr Hikainde Hichilema’s treason charge because self defense is not currently a criminal offense in Zambia. And the whole world is going to realize who the common denominator in Zambia’s path to democratic decline is!
So now my guess is as good as everyone’s who gazed with glee at the numerous pictures of bloodied Zambian faces of, mainly opposition party supporters, at each election time! Right now PF cadres are riding vehicles on the roads of Lusaka ignoring traffic rules in the guise of campaigning. When did campaign time become a traffic rules contravening period? Where in the Electoral Code of Conduct does it say that riding in vehicles on opposing lanes is an acceptable mode of campaigns? What messages are those rowdy useless motor vehicle honking giving to us Lusaka residents?
Go and campaign where the people are! And this time do not bath any babies! Respect the children’s rights to dignity like they respect yours.