Miyanda asks ECZ and Zambia Police to state the law they used to cancel UPND Rally

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Minister of justice Ngosa Simbiyakula and HP President Party General Godfrey Miyanda
FILE: Minister of justice Ngosa Simbiyakula and HP President Party General Godfrey Miyanda

Former Zambian Vice President Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has challenged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to indicate which specific law they relied on to cancel the UPND rally that was scheduled to take place in Kitwe on 14th May, 2016.

In a statement released to Lusaka Times, Brig Gen Miyanda said that he believed that there was no such law under the public order Act, adding that if such a law existed, it would be unconstitutional.

Below is the full statement.

STATEMENT THE CASE OF THE CANCELLATION OF THE UPND MANIFESTO LAUNCH

[By Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda – 9th May 2016]

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) ordered the Zambia Police to cancel a UPND campaign rally scheduled for 14th May 2016 in Kitwe, based on the ground that the ECZ had NOT announced the period for commencing campaigning. The PF had scheduled their campaign rally in Lusaka on the same date. I am not a member of the UPND but I strongly condemn this selective and undemocratic Government action. The ECZ first let the PF postpone their rally on their own volition and only then did they order the Police to cancel the UPND rally. The point of my statement is to challenge the Government, ECZ and the Police to indicate which specific law they have relied on to cancel the UPND rally based on the ground given. I believe that there is no such law, not even under the Public Order Act; but if there is, then that law or regulation is unconstitutional.

The Constitution of Zambia guarantees all citizens the Right to Freedom of Expression, which provides for the right to disseminate or communicate information to the general public and to any individual or class of people without interference. The same Constitution guarantees citizens the right to assemble and associate freely with other persons of their choice without interference as well as to form and/or belong to political parties or trade unions in order to protect their interests. This is the Supreme Law of the land that has been ignored by the Government of President Lungu, using the ECZ and the Police.

The ground given by the ECZ, namely that there should be no campaigns until the ECZ says so, does not fall within the ambit of the constitutional derogations covered by the two articles. Hence I challenge the government and its agents to indicate which other laws allow the ECZ to veto any campaign meetings. It is ridiculous and rather unreasonable to suggest that political parties must wait for five years or bye–elections before they begin to promote their organisations.

It is well established that political parties more often than not use public gatherings (or rallies as they are called) to communicate messages to the public. It is particularly important in the case of Zambia where those in power completely monopolise the public media, both print and electronic. Mass meetings are vital in a democratic system of governance because each party attempts to convince the public as to why they should be voted for. Campaigning must go on all the time without interference, of course subject to a party’s financial muscle.

That is why the President and his ministers have been on permanent tours to all provinces since the last presidential bye-election because they cunningly use government facilities to conduct their rallies. They plan visits to districts ostensibly to inspect projects while holding rallies alongside; of this there is a lot of evidence. Although these visits may be viewed as a benefit arising from incumbency, the practice is abused by those in power due to the unusually high number of inspection tours on weekly and sometimes even on a daily basis. Included in the tours are courtesy calls on our impecunious and vulnerable chiefs and churches. The messages are almost entirely campaign messages, featuring the oft repeated one-sided song of peace and unity!

I reiterate that the ECZ has no power to prevent parties from campaigning until it says so; this contravenes the Constitution. I believe that the cancelling of the UPND rally was a deliberate stratagem by President Lungu’s team to outwit the UPND. After notifying the Police a month before, why did the Government sabotage the rally? What are they afraid of? What has made the ECZ, which has hitherto created a work style that brought harmony and cooperation of political parties, to brazenly countermand the Supreme Law of the land? Which law provides that “ECZ will fire the starting pistol for campaigns to begin?” If there is such a law why has ECZ allowed the ruling party to be gallivanting all over Zambia since last year, bearing all sorts of gifts including actual cash to chiefs as well as ordinary villagers, without any feeling of guilt or shame? This ECZ action could easily be termed as another form of rigging because the ruling party clearly wants only its voice to be heard. I call upon President Lungu to stop these dangerous hide and seek games, otherwise we shall be justified to conclude that his messages about peace and unity are but a public relations and vote-catching escapade. Please stop these provocative actions forthwith!

GODFREY MIYANDA,
BRIGADIER GENERAL
[9TH MAY 2016]

45 COMMENTS

    • Let the General speak his mind. There’s too much PFoolishness in the Police Farce. Yes, Police Farce. That’s why
      #ChagwaMustFall

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    • My thinking is that most African leaders believe that its their right to hold on to power and everyone else is a fool.

      I am now convinced beyond doubt that western democracy in Africa has become a mere demonstration of craziness by the ruling regime.

      That being the case, Africa needs a revolution to remove all these tyrants by force because it seems its only language they understand and respect very well.

      People like Mugabe, Kagame, Burundian fool, Kabila and Lungu, believe that only a bullet will remove them from power and not the electoral commissions which they supervise.

      All wanting change in Zambia, Zimbabwe , Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and many other African countries should consider the use of force if they are to remove the tyrants from power like what the Ivorians did…

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    • My thinking is that most African leaders believe that its their right to hold on to power and everyone else is a fool.

      I am now convinced beyond doubt that western democracy in Africa has become a mere demonstration of craziness by the ruling regime.

      That being the case, Africa needs a revolution to remove all these tyrants by force because it seems its only language they understand and respect very well.

      People like Mugabe, Kagame, Burundian fool, Kabila and Lungu, believe that only a bullet will remove them from power and not the electoral commissions which they supervise.

      All wanting change in Zambia, Zimbabwe , Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and many other African countries should consider the use of force if they are to remove the tyrants from power like what the Ivorians did…

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    • Brother Mirada has forgotten the circumstances of attempted murder on uncle KK and Roger Chongwe in Kabwe. As acting President he had ordered the Police Force then to violently disrupt the UNIP rally KK was addreesing. Live slay bullets were fired on KK leaving him dangerously grooved and only saved by the Kabwe General Hospital Doctor Brig. General Brian Chituwo who hid him in the hospital mortuary. Assassins followed KK in the hospital checking all wards armed to the teeth. It was a dead or alive mission. Thank God KK had a special forces trained body guard in Mtonga a groomed in North Korea in protective security.

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    • I am very disappointed to say the least in the former Vice President. Honestly inspecting projects is campaigning? General you did exactly the same during your times. You even messed up one eastern contractor with your site instructions not supported by documentation and budget allocation. Come on General let the Government work. If they dont visit the projects how are they going to be informed on what is happening in their country? Lets be real. On the cancellation of the UPND campaign I am with you. I suspect ECZ became over zealous and forgot that parties could still hold rallies even before the campaign period officially started. Forgive them there are just human.

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  1. Godfrey Miyanda Should Be The Last Person To Challenge Police Over The Public Order Act Coz When He Was Vice President Then Under The Late Ftj The Hight Court Revoked The Poa As It Was Unconstitutional En Contrary To The Tenets Of Democracy But It Was The Same Godfrey Miyanda Who Brought Back The Poa, Cant U Feel Ashamed Criticing The Poa Which Ur Part En Parcel Of The Clique That Imposed Back The Poa On The Citizenry Of Zambia, Ala Muleumfwako Insoni Pakulanda.

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    • Another smart one from the General but am afraid that everything that has been said so far, including the constitutional clauses will fall on deaf ears because our ministers are stubborn and have no will whatsoever to follow the law to which they swore to protect and abide by.

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    • Rainford be objective, comment on the message from the General and don’t attack his personality. The man is talking about the legality of ECZ dictating when campaigns should start and has little to do with the POA. Exchanging of ideas builds and prospers us while attacking of each other separates and leads to mediocre states

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    • @rainford 2 at 1.49. It is u to b ashamed for lieing. Read the Mulundika case and then kam and debate. 1. While reading look out for the obiter pronouncement by the Court on notices, which is what Cabinet directed me to tak to Parly. 2. I arranged a meeting with Prf .Mvunga Hon Mulemba and other oppo, agreed on 7 days from proposd 14.Court ddnt annul POA big lie. Read article slowly. Godfre Miyanda

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    • Where has he criticised the POA? Or is it a case of some tertiary qualification from some college at play.
      Ba Miyanda bale ipusha ati ba ECZ ba fumya kwisa a maka ya ku kanya ba UPND ukukwata rally. Bankonkanyapo ukulanda ati constitution taya pela ba ECZ amaka yaku eba ama parties elyo bafwile uku amba ama campaigns.
      Is this clear enough? You can mark my bemba.

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  2. The General just knows how to put things in perspective. Looks like ECZ has its work cut out by an invisible hand and whatever the intentions are, they are not good for mother Zambia.

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  3. Why isn’t this article on the front page of LT so as to have maximum readership. Once again Miyanda proves that he’s the only voice of reason in Zambia’s political dispersion. Miyanda really sounds like a constitutional lawyer who knows the rights of citizens. He says it like it is.

    I have always wondered where ECZ get their power from to continue issuing directions that no one could campaign until they announce the start date… Miyanda has eloquently put it to challenge this notion.

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  4. Ba Chulu one uluse mutekanye bakamba. Don’t forget the woman before you has a good record in these matters mwalafilwa.

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  5. Sense! We all know who Priscilla MULENGA sides with, but I must say I am disappointed by the silence of the Iron Lady Ireen Mambilima–ECZ should be non partisan!

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  6. A quite ironic picture showing Gen Miyanda seated next to Min of (In)Justice Simbyakula! Its becoming more & more evident that ECL & Co are prepared to use every trick in the book, fair & unfair, by hook or crook, to try and win the August 11th elections! And an inconsistent Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) led by Priscilla Isaacs (sic), is not helping matters, leading us into potentially the most violent campaign period we have ever seen since the Cha cha cha campaign for independence, may Jah watch over us…

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  7. If there is one Zambian citizen who has the guts and balls to call a spade by its name in highly witty and analytical argument, that one Zambian is General G. Miyanda. The arguments raised in his article are factually unassailable and hard to rebut. My only worry is that the UPND themselves should have challenged and sought legal opinion from the highest court in this land years ago, but their legal team seems to be sleeping at the wheel.
    UPND needs to understand that in the fight for hegemony, PF has liberally used TRIBALISM, POLICE force and BRUTALITY and sheer knavery to propagate their propaganda. They have read very well from the books of one Nazi called Goebbels and the evidence is there for all to see.

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    • @MR Lusaka 11 at 2.45 pm. Completely irrelevant, what is known as argumentum ad hominem. But I know the usual innuendo you are driving at. Visit Dr Kaunda and ask him to provide evn a scintilla of evidence. He has been my mentor from childhood, and I carry his name Kenneth but he has let me down completely because he has allowed a lie which he published with others that I was personally in Kabwe supervising that despicable act! Now I have to call my hero a liar? When I queried Dr Kaunda he graciously assigned Hon Col Panij Kaunda, MP to handle the matter but they have chosen to let the lie continue living through people like you @ Mr Lusaka. Due to the respect I have for him I have not made any noises about it but am patiently waiting for our number one Christian to revert to me as he…

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  8. Miyanda, what a man of integrity who only speaks when it is necessary!!! Zambia is slowly loosing out these kind of leaders who helped keep Zambian together in terms of one Zambia one Nation. May God bless you sir! Unlike leaders of this generation who are selfish and envy for riches which is all vanities!!!

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  9. this PF government was busy making amendments to the constitution which they wouldn’t even adhere to,i.e cabinet minsters still serving even when parliament has been dissolved .bear in mind ba PF what’s good for you is equally good for UPND .

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  10. SINKAMBA WISDOM – Sage words from Gen. Godfrey Miyanda. How I wish and pray if we can have 100 or more people with the courage of Miyanda. When it comes to speaking and rendering legal opinion . I always like his sage words. My advise to Gen. Miyanda is that its not too late to join UPND . and HH;s team. We need people like you. We are sick and tired of wet blankets in Zambia. ECZ and Zambia Police will cause a very big problem in Zambia and when fighting commences they shall never manage to control it. What ECZ and Police are doing is un acceptable. Its like a home where you have two children. You feed one child and you deny the meals to another child. Just know that one day the other child will protest and you as a parent you shall look stupid. So ECZ and Police cease forthwith,…

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  11. Commentwq:it is very evident that. the son of God who did everything correct was condemned eventually crusified by the same people who needed that much help.the same is happening to our president.today Zambia is lite because of a conernted effort.Zambia was supposed to look like the way it is looking 40years ago.now it is less than five years we have all these capital projects.why can’t u appreciate?please BA president. let us show them that politics is NT for under fives. nika white wash chabe

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    • @ Kakuuta 15 at 3.55 pm. I have just read my statement again and I cant find what you are discussing. A piece of advice: dictators are not born. they are created by praise and worship YES YES people like you. When I believe something is not right I speak out without malice. Remember when I advised our President NOT to sign the Constitution with his eyes closed? I was roundly insulted. Look the mess in which we are now. A Constitution touted to last the test of time is being butchered with all sorts of amendments before the ink is dry. Godfrey Miyanda///

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  12. This how you put points across UPND not always issuing inciminating threats to the Police and ECZ…these are wiseman!!

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  13. I will continue to be your suporter because you make sense 2001,2006,2008,2011 i voted for you and if you will stand i will vote because the constitution allows me to vote for a leader of my choice

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  14. General, you are always sensible. Thanks for this write up, even dem foools know you are right!

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    • You don’t need to be backed up by any law when dispersing a tribal grouping

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  15. This write up makes Kambwili and Edgar look insane! This Isaacs at ECZ is just another cheap bitch who needs to be put where she belongs when UPND assumes power. She is causing unnecessary anxiety to the public! Weule we!

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  16. Good evening seasonal Mr. Miyanda. Where have you been all this time to appear now. We have heard of things dying a natural dearth but surely not a General.

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  17. This write up makes Kambwili and Edgar look insane! This Isaacs at ECZ is just another cheap bitch who needs to be put where she belongs when UPND assumes power. She is causing unnecessary anxiety to the public! Weule we!!

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  18. This write up makes Kambwili and Edgar look insane! This Isaacs at ECZ is just another cheap bitch who needs to be put where she belongs when UPND assumes power. She is causing unnecessary anxiety to the public! Weule wee!

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  19. Tekanya Miyanda. PF heeded ECZ’s counsel that the official campaign period has not started. UPND, as per their unlawful nature, decided to ignore the ECZ. What then do you expect to be done? You have always purported to uphold the laws of our country, yet you selectively ignore some aspects of the law or electoral processes. As a Heritage member myself, yes you and I are the only remaining members, I expect you my president to be campaigning for me to vote for you. But you are just quite, when are having our convention by way? I might just challenge for the top post, it is a democracy not so? Please let me know so that I can start preparing my speech to you. In other words, please find something else to talk about.

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    • @General 21 5 pm: help others to develop by contributing usefully. So far zero for saying nothing///

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  20. Miyanda is right. Clearly there is selective application of law. There is one law for PF Cadres and for UPND cadres. PF cadres are protected from prosecution and are rewarfed for committing crimes against opposition cadres. Zambia is now an animal farm with the prevailing mirule of the PF party.

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  21. Comment:how many times have u corrected BA general. and if u have corrected in your capacity as HP president.how many of corrected issues have turnned correct?u were once vice Republican president under ftj,u failled to control things.today u want to speakout.are u going to change things overnight or u are a bulldozer trying to make a good road for upnd.in some way u are trying to use a new name for old habits

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  22. If there has been a person who has been consistent with consistence that its General Miyanda.The General has always guarded the nation with his interllengent well researched articles and contributions on the political discourse of this great nation that has been destroyed by poor, mediocre and visionless leadership. The General would have made a good President of this country but sometimes we are always afraid of real people.We trust and praise corrupt that are pre occupied to **** and mutilate this country.
    General Miyanda what is your legal view on the current ministers who are serving or working despite parliament disolving itself.

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  23. It is sad that honorable you have looked at my concern as being irrelevant, I thought of bringing it to the fore because it also relates to the Public Order ACT.
    But you will agree with me that the matter is one that has gone in our Political achieves begging for answers.
    I must state the your response in that regard has helped me digest my thoughts and the perception I had over that incident. Once more thanks for being gracious in providing those insights.
    On a lighter not are you endorsing any Presidential candidate or you are contesting on the Heritage ticket?

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  24. The general is spot on, if one person will vote for you, that’ll be me, i admire your principled personality!

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