By Sunday Chanda
The Book of Ecclesiastes took its name from the Greek “ekklesiastes”, a translation of the title by which the central figure refers to himself: “Kohelet”, meaning “one who convenes or addresses an assembly”.
According to rabbinic tradition, Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon in his old age.
Solomon understood “Justice” and in the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter ten, the sage provides a striking idiom regarding sound judgement, wisdom and honour:
“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour”.
A few “Dead flies” or a little folly or mischief can spoil a whole container of a refreshing sweet smelling perfume and turn it into a repulsive mess.
Solomon was the head of the Judiciary of his time and he understood how “flies” could putrefy and ruin the sweet aroma of justice.
In contemporary society, the Judiciary has been regarded as a fountain of natural Justice.
The judiciary here in Zambia has over the years performed its role with dignity and honour and the majority of men and women in this noble profession have unwaveringly dedicated themselves to discharging the sacred duty of justice.
However there are a few flies in the oil and of late there has been a sordid whiff emanating from some quarters of the judiciary that is nauseating the air and space of justice.
Take the Choma based magistrates pitiful attempts to sully Dr Simon Miti who was a State witness in the case against Henry Kapoko and four others for instance.
Dr. Miti was made State Witness by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mr. Chalwe Mchenga and continued to be so, even under Mr. Mutembo Nchito.
He was cross-examined by the cream of the country’s top drawer of legal brains and as key State Witness; he duly cooperated leading to the Courts securing a conviction in the matter.
As a State Witness, Dr. Miti appeared before this magistrate and two or three others in this particular case and it’s strange that the magistrate didn’t at the time see the need for Dr. Miti to be cross-examined on issues he’s never been charged for.
It is unbelievably bizarre and outlandish that a State Witness should now be a subject of conviction by a magistrate.
Dr Miti has never been cited nor has he ever appeared before court so how did the Choma based magistrate judge him?
What ever happened to the principle of natural justice?
When has a judge ever directed who and should not be prosecuted?
Something just doesn’t smell right! It stinks! It is a foul unwholesome embarrassment to the judiciary.
Dr. Miti was never suspended but was sent on leave with full benefits to allow for investigations; he cooperated and was back at work thereafter.
The man has never been fired- neither for corruption nor any other offence for that matter, whether real or assumed.
This is a man – a true patriot who has diligently served his country through his service to Heads of State including the late Dr. Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba, the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, Rupiah Bwezani Banda, the late Michael Chilufya Sata and now the incumbent.
He has served with honour and devotion for over 15 years making him one of the longest- if not the longest serving Permanent Secretary among his peers. He served the late Mwanawasa faithfully and stayed with him until his death in Paris, France. At what point did late President Mwanawasa fire Dr. Miti for corruption as alleged by some moral misfits? Could it be that all the Presidents he served under where victims of poor judgement? Isn’t that just absurd?
This whole thing reeks! It is a politically charged personal vendetta against State House and calculated at tainting His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and it forms part of the bigger scheme sponsored by the opposition to attack and discredit the President and those close to him.
That should also explain the morbid interest in also soiling the image of State House Permanent Secretary Ms Christa Kalulu.
It is immoral and very wicked for the discredited wretched smugglers in the likes of Mwenya Musenge, and rejected political mercenaries in the despicably twisted form of Gregory Chifire to attempt to tarnish a luminary’s professional’s flawless image.
But then, what else can be expected of Musenge / Chifire and their company of morally challenged misfits? Their odious behaviour would embarrass the lowest forms of life and even the most primordial of primates would blush at their malice.
Court documents are public documents. We challenge the magistrate to show the public where Dr. Miti was charged. The magistrate wants Dr. Miti to answer to the charges and again we ask – where are the charges which you want Dr. Miti to answer to?
We ask the magistrate who it is that prosecuted Dr. Miti and who his defence counsel was?
It is public knowledge that courts exist to adjudicate on the merits and demerits of the prosecution and never to charge individuals. This is a very strange phenomenon and a rancid embarrassment to the judiciary.
It’s extremely shocking that the magistrate charged a person who has never been charged and attempts to convict him together with the people being convicted.
We challenge the magistrate to show the public Dr. Miti’s pending or active cases before any court of law in Zambia and outside including mars.
This confirms the existence of an agenda to divert the narrative from development gains scored by the PF, in order embarrass and undermine the current President using fiction and underhand methods by individuals abusing offices, which are expected to be fair in dispensing justice and which are sacred by design.
Let the Choma based Magistrate be reminded of the late President Mwanawasa’s wisdom in refusing to succumb to similar manoeuvres.
On 24 September 2003, the Supreme Court of Zambia recommended that Michael Mabenga be probed and prosecuted for alleged misuse of K29.8 million Constituency Development Funds (CDF).
Reacting to calls to prosecute Mabenga, former Justice Minister, the late George Kunda, had said the case that involved Mulobezi Member of Parliament (MP) Michael Mabenga some time back could not be prosecuted at the time because police had closed the matter after thorough investigations.
President Mwanawasa could not and did not succumb to such proposals from the judiciary, because investigations and the decisions to prosecute lie in the exclusive jurisdiction of the Police and the DPP as opposed to the court.
There are a few individuals in state institutions that are bent on fighting the President and the progress he has galvanised, to the extent of throwing justice and professional ethics to the wind. These individuals are flies in the ointment of justice and all that is progressive.
His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is a man of impeccable standing. The President and the Patriotic Front Government will not be distracted by a smelly bunch of envious detractors. We are too busy delivering development to the people we serve.
The judicial wheel is rounded with equality, oiled with honour and is supposed to function smoothly with integrity.
We pray for the Wisdom of Solomon to prevail in the judiciary so that it can cleanse itself of this putrid stench.
The Author is the PF Media Director At the Patriotic Front Secretariat In Lusaka.