Formerly Zambia Direct Democracy Movement
P. O. Box 34553
Zambia-Sata STOP BAD TREND-‘Chaona munzako Chapita Mawa Chili Paiwe’
We have observed with regret that the trend of prosecution or demanding to have former Heads of States prosecuted is growing in this country.It is becoming a sick tradition. It started with late second republican president when he had his predecessor Dr, Kenneth Kaunda arrested on grounds that, he committed some unexplained crimes during his 27 years in office as republican president. Dr. Kaunda was reprieved from his prison cell by late Tanzanian president Dr. Julius K Nyerere who warned Dr Chiluba that, the precedence he had began would come back to him when he leave office.
As predicted by Dr. Nyerere, when the new president in the name of Dr. Levy Mwanawasa come into power after 2001, Dr Chiluba was arrested and subjected to a humiliating trial which lasted for about 7 years. Had it not been for the courts that reprieved him through an acquittal, Dr. Chiluba could have died in prison.
We believe the trend started by Dr Chiluba could have also been extended to Dr Mwanawasa had he not died in office. The New president could have demanded for an explanation from him on issues he could have omitted to do when he served as Head of State. Good luck or bad lack, he died in office. The action spared him from the anguish he could have suffered at the hands of the new president.
Now is Mr. President Michael Chilufya Sata following the footsteps of both Dr Chiluba and Mwanawasa of prosecution their predecessors. He is busy digging in political archives of his predecessor trying to find what he can use against him. People from all walks of life have ganged up against the former Head of State. They are all entertaining the idea of having his immunity removed so that he can be arrested and be dragged to court to explain the role he played in the disappearance of state resources and other activities in the eyes of Mr. Sata, his actions were in not in accordance with the law.
In our view as People’s Party, the idea of prosecuting former Heads of States is not a very good one. The action makes them lose the credibility they deserve as former heads of states. These people are supposed to be national consultants. We are supposed to look up to them as our heroes who have done remarkable deeds to unite the country in times of troubles. To bland them thieves as it is the situation right now is not good.
For sure, if our former Head of States could have done something wrong during their tenure of office, other means should be used to admonish them other than making them appear to be public nuisance. In future, we will end have no leaders who as a nation, will look up as having done remarkable deeds that deserve praises.
Our appeal to president Sata is that, let him take the route of former South African President Nelson Mandela who despite have overwhelming evidence that could have led to the prosecution of his predecessors, he decided to leave the bygone be bygone. In national interest, he stated that, he would not want history repeat itself. He opted to take the route of peace. Perhaps that is the reason why God has blessed South African with so many riches.
We as a nation should learn from other countries like the United States of America that treasure their former leaders. We have not heard of anyone of the many former Heads of States in America that have been prosecuted by his successor. This is the kind of life we need to imitate in this country of our.
As People’s Party, we are calling all peace loving Zambians to call for a peaceful transition and safety for former Heads of States. This idea of having them prosecuted when they leave office is the reason why people once elected into office are scared of leaving office due to what will come out of them when they leave office.
The other thing we need to work on as a nation is a better constitution which will give guideline to presidents on how to lead the nation. It is not true that all former Heads of States are thieves as we call them. We all know what makes them wonder away during the course of their office. It is a bad constitution. We believe, once a better constitution which will stipulate conditions and terms of reference for president, everything we are complaining of will be things of the past.
Let us spare our former Head of State to preserve our national identity and dignity internationally. Our leaders are a symbol of unity. If they are all blended criminals, how will our future generation adore them? Let us avoid this pending doom.
We may not be in the good books of President Satas but we would not want to see him humiliated in future in the manner that he is trying to fault find his presidator .