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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Arrest of Journalists and politicians on seditious intention and practical charges:The Green party position on these obnoxious colonial laws

Headlines Arrest of Journalists and politicians on seditious intention and practical charges:The Green...

GREEN Party Presidential Candidate Peter Sinkamba
GREEN Party Presidential Candidate Peter Sinkamba

We the Greens join other organizations condemning in strongest terms the use of colonial laws before, during and after 2016 General Elections, to arrest and prosecute media and some opposition leaders. We strongly believe time has come to review and scrap colonial laws, in particular offences under Sections 57 and 60 of the Penal Code. Enacted in colonial era in 1938, and amended in 1955, 1964, 1965, 1969, and 1994, which provide for offences that constitute seditious practices and seditious intention that are not in sync with the democratic dispensation post-1990.

The harassment and intimidation suffered by the Muvi TV journalist in Kasama, Prime TV in Lusaka, Radio Mano in Kasama and Chipata TV in Chipata, are just but a few cases over the years, where several people, especially journalists, have been arrested and prosecuted for offences under Sections 57 and 60.

The profound intention by journalists and politicians victimized under these provisions has clearly always been-

i) to show that the Government have been misled or mistaken in any of their measures; or

ii) to point out errors or defects in the Government or Constitution as by law established or in legislation or in the administration of justice, with a view to the reformation of such errors or defects; or

iii) to persuade the people of Zambia to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in Zambia as by law established; nonetheless, the harassment through arrests and prosecution has continued.

Nonetheless, these people have always found themselves behind bars. Whilst condemnation of the harassment is a noble cause, moving forward, the Green Party believes there is need to repeal repugnant provisions of Sections 60, and consequently Section 57, which are usually abused. We believe that repeal of these provisions is a more sustainable and urgent measure.

In this regard, first, we the Greens demand the repeal of Section 60(1)(b) which prohibits bringing into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government. This provision has been prone to abuse in the recent past. We strongly believe that if Dr. Kaunda abused this provision in 1990 and 1991, slogans such as “UNIP ni cholera”, “UNIP zwaa”, “Shemuneni” would have landed multitudes of citizens in prisons. Even slogans like “kuwayawaya fye” and “dununa something” can land someone in jail.

Second, we demand the repeal of Section 60(1)(d) which prohibits bringing into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Zambia. This provision is dictatorial and susceptible to abuse. Why should citizens be barred from complaining of bad court decisions? With a provision like this, even if a court decision is hopeless, any expression of resentment can land one in jail.

Third, we demand repeal of Section 60(1)(e) which prohibits raising discontent or disaffection among the people of Zambia. Like Section 60(1)(b) above, because this provision can land one in jail on petty things like slogans, we believe it is repugnant and should therefore be done away with.

Fourth, we demand the repeal of Section 60(1)(h) which prohibits advocating the desirability of any part of Zambia becoming an independent state or otherwise seceding from the Republic. If the colonial masters relied on this provision, advocating for the disband of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland would have landed Mama Julia Chikamoneka and several other women in prison. The British who crafted this law for us obviously do not have such a provision on their statutes. If they did, how come the Scots are not in prison for advocating pull-out of the United Kingdom following the Brexit referendum success? Similarly, in a democracy, the Barotse people should be free to advocate for the restoration of the Barotse Agreement or indeed champion session without the risk of landing in jail. We need political solutions to address political issues and not using prisons gag dissenting views.

Last, we demand for the repeal of Section 60(1)(j) which prohibits inciting resistance, either active or passive, or disobedience to any law or its administration. Since 2009, civil society organizations have incited resistance to the inacceptable and shocking NGO Act. If it continues being on our statute roll, one day, when an obnoxious Inspector General takes over office, civil society groups advocating for resistance and disobedience to the NGO Act, and other objectionable laws, will find themselves in prisons for championing noble causes.

We call upon media institutions to join us in the campaign to repeal these obnoxious laws which have resulted in imprisonment of your colleagues. Remember, today it is your friend, tomorrow it is you……

By Peter Sinkamba
President

7 COMMENTS

  1. What is the basic purpose of religion?
    Religion is designed to focus the people’s attention and energy on a single, unchanging, uncompromising and invisible supreme being who allegedly created an inferior human race just for some extra companionship and love for himself and then supposedly foisted a set of oppressive and in some cases arbitrary rules on them, which if broken would be met with unimaginable punishment.

    This keeps the followers in a continuing state of fear and compliance.

    They are afraid to question the intentions of this invisible being and they are afraid of even expressing their own individuality in many cases. Christians and others are taught that they have virtually no power to do anything except pray, worship and do good deeds.

    They are…

    • Religion is like a drug to some. And they need a 2000 year old hero to save them – from themselves that is!

      The churches don’t permit their followers to have any real truth and knowledge because that would empower the people too much so they spoon feed them kiddie stories, half truths, distortions and even lies and the followers value it highly even though they must spend the rest of their lives just making sense of it.

      The irony is that religion is pretty much man made, so mankind has really brought this onto themselves.

      The religious elites are not totally to blame because many people actually enjoy listening to mystical sounding stories, performing rituals, customs and traditions, playing polarity roles and dramas and waging battles against what they perceive to be a…

    • IS THERE A GOD OR IS GOD JUST A SANTA FOR ADULTS?

      What is God?
      Is there a white bearded old man up there creating and presiding over everything?

      If there is then what are all the zillions of other smart and creative souls doing in the cosmos besides sitting on their hands?

      For millennia people have been asking this question but there is one thing that some have thought might be the answer, and that is that maybe collectively WE are God.

      God might be like a computer CPU and we might be the millions of transistors inside it.

      There is no master transistor (God) which gives life to all the others and on which all the others depend. We each function independently and also as one. One of the transistors (Jesus) did possibly emerge briefly to show us an example of a…

  2. The largest slave trade in the history of the world was created by Christian European nations. This is a fact.

    It is also a fact that the Bible very specifically endorses slavery.

    In America before the Civil War, the majority of evangelical Christians were totally convinced that “their personal relationship with Jesus Christ” authorized them to own slaves.

    Some evangelical factions in recent times did oppose the slave trade. In England they helped abolish it in the early 19th century. The radical abolitionist John Brown defended his raid at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia in 1859 as an act against slavery born out of his Christian conviction.

    However, throughout most of Christian history slavery has received the official sanction of the church. Leading figures in the Catholic…

  3. Thank you green party. You are the only party that understands the role of freedom of expression in a democracy. All these FDD UPND by their silence think this battle is for journalists alone

  4. African leaders just don’t care about their own people. This has nothing to do with colonial treatment – AFRICAN LEADERS SHOULD STOP HIDING BEHING THE POSTER OR PILLAR OF COLONIAL RULERS AND APARTHIED. AFRICA IS FREE AND CAN TRADE WITH OTHER NATIONS – HUNGER AND POVERTY ARE JUST AN EXCUSE BY FAILED GOVERNMENTS

  5. Faithless you are a lost soul. Comfort yourself with manly theories. At the end of the day your nothing but wandering creation that is in need of salvation. You are alive now not by anything but the Grace of The Almighty God

Comments are closed.

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