Sunday, 19 January 2014

Fr Bwalya raises questions on Kabimba Tribunal

Fr Bwalya raises questions on Kabimba 

Tribunal
Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya has raised a number of questions surrounding the fairness and credibility of the Tribunal established to investigate Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba.
He has asked whether it was appropriate to appoint Judge Hamaundu as Chairman of the Tribunal when he was acting Supreme Court Judge waiting for confirmation subject to approval by the President.
This was a very tenuous position for a sensitive tribunal involving a Minister who the President had failed to suspend or remove from office during the Tribunal.
According to information availed to Fr Bwalya Judge Hamaundu was at the same school as Wynter, “Will this have an effect on the outcome?” he asked. Fr Bwalya has also questioned whether the failure by President Michael Sata to fire or even suspend Kabimba would not bear on the outcome of the results and findings of the Tribunal since most of the witnesses that have been subpoenaed were from the Justice Ministry and were junior to Kabimba.He wondered whether the failure by President Sata to send Kabimba who is PF secretary general on forced leave while appearing before the Tribunal would not create problems of conflict of interest, intimidation of witnesses working in government as well as the breach of common sense.
“The Tribunal that has been set up to investigate Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba for breach of the oath of secrecy and abuse of office starts sitting on Monday 20th January 2014. The following are serious questions that I think Zambians should keep asking as the Tribunal chaired by Acting Supreme Court Judge Evans Hamaundu progresses. What effect, if any, will the fact that the chairperson of the Tribunal, Acting Judge of the Supreme Court Evans Hamaundu, was in school with Mr Kabimba have on the outcome of the Tribunal? Will the failure by President Michael Chilufya Sata to send Mr Kabimba on forced leave while the Tribunal sits create problems of conflict of interest, intimidation of witnesses working in government and many other related problems including breach of common sense?” Fr Bwalya wondered.The ABZ leader was worried that since Judge Hamaundu was Acting Supreme Court Judge pending confirmation by President Sata, there was a danger that he (Judge Hamaundu) would conduct himself in a manner to please the executive to secure confirmation to his new position.Fr Bwalya said the Tribunal has reserved the right to subpoena witnesses or indeed refuse to subpoena witnesses and wondered whether the Tribunal would subpoena one of the key witnesses, the Acting Chief Justice who ironically also appointed and swore in the members of the Tribunal.He said If the Tribunal was going to refuse to subpoena the Acting Chief Justice and Solicitor General Musa Mwenya, the relevance of the Tribunal would not be totally lost.He wondered whether it was in order for a Tribunal of this nature to stop the Petitioners from moving the Tribunal to subpoena a witness of their choice.
“Is this fair on the part of the Petitioners?Was the choice of Justice Gertrude Chawatama who is a relative of President Sata coincidental and what effect, if any, will this reality have on the outcome of the Tribunal?Did the Executive allow the creation of the Tribunal in good faith or it is another scheme to hoodwink unsuspecting citizens that the PF is committed to upholding good governance?It is my prayer that answers to these questions will befound as the Tribunal progresses” FrMwalya said.

MMD ready for united opposition, says Siliya

The MMD has said it will do whatever it takes, even give up the presidency if that is what it will take to remove the Patriotic Front (PF) from government at the next general election.
MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya the former ruling party would want to be clear that it has a lot to offer and that it would remain open-minded on national matters.
Siliya said the MMD was in agreement with Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) national coordinator Leonard Chiti that the PF should not be allowed to continue ruling the country in the next general elections.
She said the MMD was of the feeling that Zambia must be rescued from the PF who had brought a lot of misery and suffering to the Zambians who had hoped that things were going to be better under their leadership.
Siliya said the MMD was happy to even give up the presidency if that was what it would take for the opposition to stop the PF from imparting further suffering on the people.
She said although the former ruling party was not giving up anything now, it was ready to rescue Zambians from the PF dictatorship through a united opposition.
Siliya said the MMD would soon call for meetings for all interested opposition political parties and that the former ruling party would be happy to attend meetings that would be called by the UPND, NAREP and ABZ to foster unity in the opposition.
“The MMD feels Zambia must be rescued from the PF who have bought a lot of misery to the citizens and we agree with Fr Chiti that the PF must go. MMD is happy to give up the presidency if that is what it will take for the opposition to remove PF from imparting further misery and suffering on the Zambian people. The MMD will call meetings for all the interested opposition political parties and we shall attend any meeting that would be called by the UPND, NAREP and ABZ,” Siliya said.
She said Zambians wanted a combined opposition and the MMD as a pioneer of democracy did not wish to see democracy lost as a result of the dictatorship the PF had adopted as a mode of governing the country.
The MMD has called on the Civil Society Organisations, the church, youths and women to refuse to lose their freedoms and fight that their voices should continue being heard on the constitution, irresponsible borrowing and many other governance issues.
Siliya said it took the MMD 14 years to repay the UNIP $7 billion debt and the PF had taken the country on the path back to the dark days of brutal politics and un-repayable debt.
She said real power was in the hands of the people and that the MMD had heard the cries of the people and would therefore wish to work all opposition political parties to remove the PF from government in the next general elections.

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