File:SACCORD Executive director Boniface Chembe captured in the audience during the presidential debate

The Southern African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) says Zambia should maintain its membership of the International Criminal Court.

Executive Director Boniface Cheembe says leaving the ICC will make Zambia cease being a leading democratic example on the African continent.

Mr Cheembe told QFM news that withdrawing from the ICC should not be an option, but pushing for reforms at the ICC if necessary.

A number of African countries have in recent years threatened to pull out of the ICC.Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe whose country was not part a signatory to the Rome statute has in the past been quoted criticising the ICC over its prosecution of African leaders.

President Mugabe was quoted saying it was high time Africa set up a criminal court which would seek justice for “serious” war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the West, particularity during the colonial era.

Many in the international community cheered when the treaty to create the ICC, the Rome Statute, was adopted in 1998 as a way to pursue some of the world’s worst atrocities: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Not all countries signed on. Notable countries that have not joined include the United States, China, Russia and India. Some countries are wary of The Hague, Netherlands-based court’s powers, seeing it as potential interference.Only Africans have been charged in the six ICC cases that are ongoing or about to begin.

SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe has since welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s indication that the decision on whether to stay or leave the ICC will be subject to wide consultation.He however said that there is also no need for the country to hold a referendum on whether to withdraw membership from the ICC or not as some people are suggesting.

Mr Cheembe says just as a referendum was not necessary when Zambia joined the International Criminal Court, the country does not need to use a referendum to decide whether it should leave or remain a member of the ICC.

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30 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, but we should have dignity for ourselves. We dont give up anyhow. Deal with our politicians locally. I have not seen Tony Blair been taken to ICC or George Bush even though the confirmed that they committed war crimes.

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    • For sure it will. Say NO to visionless Lungu’s illusions of removing the ICC membership of Zambia. What is confused & violent PF of visionless Lungu scared of?
      Running away to Sudan for sanctuary will never sort this economic & load shedding mess caused by useless PF bandits. UTH has no water, teachers & doctors with so many others have NOT received their salaries due to Pathetic Failures ~PF.
      Let the presidential petition be heard, or else the ICC will teach these violent PF hooligans & charlatans justice.
      How much is mealie meal today? Economy or load shedding?
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

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    • Mr.Cheembe, by whose standard are you judging this state of affairs? you are judging things from the western mentality towards African affairs. Africa can not be independent with such reasoning. We always thinking we can not do better without the west, this is not good. Africa should get mature enough to fix her own problems, period.

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    • I’m for sticking with ICC. The Zambian scenario is best suited for this because the judiciary works with the party in leadership and there is no independence of the judiciary whatsoever! We saw this in the presidential petition of last year. We want a neutral judiciary and a foreign one is welcome!

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    • STOP RIGGING ELECTIONS SIMPLE. YOU SPEND SO MUCH TIME AND MONEY RIGGING ELECTIONS THAN YOU CAN ON IMPROVING PEOPLES LIVING STANDARDS. LOOK AT YOUR MUGABE, THE BIGGEST DISGRACE ON EARTH, HIS PEOPLE NOW FEEL THEY WERE MUCH BETTER UNDER COLONIAL RULE, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. WHY DON’T YOU START WITH THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT SO THAT CITZENS CAN GATHER AND DEBAT FREELY BEFORE YOU JUMP TO THE WITHDRAWING FROM THE ICC WHICH HAS ACTED AS A DETERANT TO BAD GOVERNANCE?

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    • Lungu is planning genocide of his own making to rival Mugabe’s. Mugabe killed thousands of Ndebeles under the Gukurahundi genocide in the early 1980s. That’s why Mugabe does not like the ICC and he does not want to retire.

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    • “Guilt is always afraid” Sentences like that one are the reason all African countries should leave the ICC. Our people will misinterpret whatever the ICC is saying.

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  2. Only the rat who who had comitted crimes against humanity wants us to leave icc. It is always about him greedy pillock

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    • Last time I checked immediately after the announcement of the winner, hh instructed his minion in namwala to beat up their fellow citizens burnt their houses thereby forcing them to take refuge at schools. Thanks to red cross for providing them with food and shelter. This case is now been under investigation by the commission of inquiry and once the culprit is identified, we will take the case to the icc so that they deal with the master minder. The move to pull out is in the best interest of hh not ecl. Ecl is a saint.

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  3. Why should we not trust our own courts. Recently former chadian president Hissen Habre was sentenced to life for crimes against humanity by the African Court. Now suppose the whole Africa pulls out what would Zambia be doing there? ICC is a good idea but it’s the it chooses which people to prosecute. If Lungu commits atrocities what would stop us removing his immunity and prosecute his case in our own court?

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    • @Ndanje khakis,
      I tend to agree with you to a certain extent, my concern really, is if we are not able to figure out our constitutional laws, to get a proper interpretation that is acceptable to all, how will be able to deal with laws that implicate the dictators. Mind you a few people are always benefiting and they will do everything possible to defend the dictators. Honestly, we have nothing to loose to remain in ICC, this topic is just getting away the attention of the government instead of it focussing on issues that matter to Zambians, we are indirectly pushing Bushar agenda in return for 15 scholarship to train hardcore Muslims

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    • Gen Kanene, do you know that Charles Taylor who has been convicted by the ICC is still influencing politics in Liberia from prison. That’s just an side, but why should have more confidence in foreigners who have exempted from this very ICC? I gave an example on Hissen Habre whose case has been ably handled by “ourselves “.

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    • BECAUSE HE CONTROLS THE JUDICIARY. IF OUR JUDICIARY WAS INDEPENDENT THEN WE COULD DO WITHOUT THE ICC, BUT RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A DEMOCRACY IN WORD ONLY.

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  4. The problem we have in Africa is not the courts but the type of leaders. In America, a judge overturned Trump’s executive order, do u see that happening in Africa? We had a petition in court, according to our constitution, who was supposed to act as head of state during the petition? did we see that happening? That is the more reason we need ICC.

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    • There was no need to hand over powers because the president elect was at the same time the sitting president. Don’t depend upon hh/gbm to tell you what the constitution says. Read it yourselves and you will find plain answers for you. The constitution have 14days to determine the petition whether finished or not. Your boys failed on time to present the case. Stop blaming anyone on this. In fact ecl lawyers reminded the petitioners to remove all the unnecessary items but they would not listen. Man lick your balls and piss off with the irritating petition.

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  5. STAYING IN OR OUT OF ICC DOES NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. IT WILL NOT BRING FOOD ON YOUR TABLE. IT WILL NEVER TAKE HH TO STATE HOUSE. IF ANYTHING, IF HH THINKS ICC CAN TAKE HIM TO STATE HOUSE WHY IS HE WASTING TIME? HE WILL GIVE AN EXCUSE THAT HE COULD NOT TAKE ECL TO ICC BECAUSE HE WAS NOT SURE IF ZAMBIA WAS STAYING IN ICC OR NOT. REMEMBER THE STORY OF THE 14 DAYS AND CON COURT.

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    • @Chisenga, the first part of your comment I agree with. This ICC saga should not be the topic, it is bringing any food on your family table. Let ECL concentrate on issues that matter, any referendum is just waste of money, and it will just make Zambia poorer.
      This is not about HH, you would do better to live out HH in the spin. But don’t call me an HH guy, the reason I am telling you this is to make sure you are focussed. You started off well, but later diverged into nonsense.

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  6. Referendum remains one of the options. It is better to provide arguments for or against than to rule it out without any justification. The decision can then e arrived at through consensus. If AU considered ICC an issue of public interest, then it follows that suspension is a precautionary measure. The suspension will pave the way for consultations. The regional leader is South Africa. It is prudent to follow behind South Africa. After that, calm and tranquility will guide discussions.

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  7. Who said that Zambia will pull out of ICC? And why has this issue become thorny just August general elections? The simple answer I can give is that Edgar and ECZ rigged the election results and UPND has taken the matter to ICC so because they ( PF) know that they will lose the case at ICC therefore there is panic in Edgar lungu ‘s camp. As the spokesman for paramount chief mpezeni I want to inform the nation that Lungu is going round the country and he is paying visits to chiefs for the simple reason that he is bribing chiefs so that they should influence their subjects to accept the idea of this nation to pull out of ICC. As you our chief love money he got a big brown envelope and he encouraged him to go to all chiefs especially paramount chiefs but paramount chief kalonga Gawa Undi…

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  8. I don’t think ICC is the problem solver for Africa , but an endorsement for colonialism , how do Africans think they cannot punish any brother who goes wrong.
    You have your own parliaments you mean you cannot make your own laws, funny you make yourselves laughing storks by the whole world.
    ICC is not perfect only that it is controlled by your former colonisers.
    This crop of Africans couldn’t have fought for independence , as they lack capacity to do their own thinking .
    Humans are just the same where ever they are found in any shade and shapes etc.
    So I don’t see any advantage of being in the unfair club.

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  9. Illegitimate Lungu wants to take Zambia out of ICC becoz he stole the 2016 Election and illegally and unconstitutionally swore himself in power. Lungu wants to avoid the Petition being heard becoz he knows that the Petitioners have overwhelming evidence to show that Lungu lost the Election and HH won it convincingly. Lungu claims that he won the Election and met the 50% + 1 vote. Well let him prove this in Court and he will be declared the Winner. So why is Lungu refusing a Proper Petition Hearing? He knows HH won this Election and Lungu refused to handover power to the True Winner, HH? The truth will eventually come out.

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  10. When Zambia became a Member of ICC Illegitimate Chakolwa Lungu was not President and he should therefore leave power without interfering with Zambia’s ICC Membership. Illegitimate Lungu has no power and mandate from the People of Zambia to withdraw Zambia’s membership to the ICC. Lungu has committed crimes against many Zambians and must be held accountable. Zambia is a Christian Nation and does not want to be associated with Muslims, Criminals and Fugitives like Omar Al Bashir of Sudan. These Arabs and Muslims are no good to us Christians.We know Lungu is a Muslim and he should leave us Christians alone.

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  11. Africans are lazy and cannot even police themselves what a shame. It is all about the law it doesn’t take a skin colour nor being some one any where else, if you can change governments, how can you fail to rule yourselves is it not you who removed corrupt RB from power!
    Is it not you who decided to have multiparty politics, is it not you who vote
    I don’t see anything you are afraid of is it the president!
    You are indeed scared little men who cannot fight for themselves, now want a giant from the planet.
    I rest my case !!!!!!!

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  12. Gentlemen,

    You only choose a club that is active and productive. What has ICC done so far. Take it to Ke nya

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  13. What is the urgency that triggered this matter to be brought up, to the extent of suggesting to waste scant resources on the referendum as if it is of periority to the Zambian people?
    Is it because UPND is threatening to take the election partition there? Please Zambians, why are you wilfully inviting dictatorship upon yourselves, can’t you read through the mind of this President trying to block the election truth to come to light. This thing you are creating will finally catch up with your children. Zambia more than every is at the crossroads with its democracy, we need ICC to run to in the future, this decision benefits only one person – the President!

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