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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Fighting Corruption does not entail abandoning the Rule of Law

Columns Fighting Corruption does not entail abandoning the Rule of Law

Sunday Chanda
Sunday Chanda

By Sunday Chilufya Chanda

For justice to prevail, any case must be viewed through the pure unadulterated eyes of justice, rather than through the clouded lenses of any kind of prejudice.

The recent arrest of Honourable Ronald Kaoma Chitotela and his being charged with two counts of concealing properties believed to be proceeds of crime has understandably generated varied opinions and sentiments ranging from the studiously rational; to the emotionally charged and even the uttermost (and gutter most) outrageous.

At the end of the day, justice must prevail without fear or favour. By the same token, justice must prevail without prejudice or emotional manipulation.

Justice is not based on emotions or preconceived sentiment; it is based on facts presented before a court of law.

One of the most sacred principles in the Zambian criminal justice system is holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime(s) charged.

Our justice system also ensures that, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. The Zambian Constitution guarantees to every person “equal protection under the law.”

Consequently, under “the presumption of innocence”, an accused person is considered innocent unless proven guilty and this is expressed by the Latin maxim: _“ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat”_ (The burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies). It is a legal principle. Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

However, people that have myopic minds and tunnel vision and who have vested interests and anti-government agendas like United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema will not see beyond their interests.

There is a lot to be taken into account in the administration of justice. Tragically, Mr Hichilema knows very little about governance, let alone the administration of justice as his chequered intra-party record shows.

It is outrageous though not surprising that people like Mr Hakainde who are prejudiced and carry predetermined positions on anyone linked to the ruling party have it all conveniently twisted. On one hand they want President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to follow the Anti-Corruption Act; yet on the on the other hand they are asking for the law to be applied only in one direction.

How can they be prodding the President of the Republic of Zambia to ignore what the constitution says about an accused being innocent until proven guilty? How bizarre!

They want the Head of State to use the law for Honourable Chitotela to be arrested yet they do not want the President to follow the same law under Part 3 under the Constitution, Article 18 which talks about an accused being innocent until proven guilty!

They should not conveniently forget the practical and live example President Lungu gave of one of his former ministers Hon Chishimba Kambwili whom he fired based on charges and how to date, the said former minister has not been convicted!

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has demonstrated that he is magnanimous enough to allow his ministers to be arrested and charged, and he has remained true to his public undertaking of not interfering in the due process of the law.

We ask Mr Hichilema and his ilk: what’s wrong with allowing justice to prevail?

We believe in the rules of natural justice. If Honourable Ronald Chitotela’s continued occupation of office was to jeopardise investigations, certainly he would have been asked to go home. The same would apply in the event that his continued occupation of the office of Minister would have any bearing on a fair trial.

Why should Mr Hichilema want the Head of State to go against the Zambian constitution as well as the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11 which provides presumption of innocence and provides that the legal burden of proof is thus on the prosecution?

The fight against corruption is real, but Mr. Hichilema would like to trivialise it; Fighting corruption does not entail playing to the gallery nor does it entail abandoning the rule of law; Justice cannot be for one side alone, but it must be for both.

After all is said and done: the picture is infinitely bigger than Mr Hichilema’s remarkably finite understanding of justice.

The author is Patriotic Front Media Director At the Patriotic Front Secretariat Lusaka

[Read 1,873 times, 1 reads today]


  1. HH mungulu sana. That’s why the late described him as under 5. He wants to speak like he understands everything. I have not seen any support from his MPs each time he comments on anything

    • Straw men Mr Sunday Chanda.
      We are questioning the double standards. What about the other people who were fired before conviction, including your brother? Clearly you are so greedy that you can even abandon your own brother for 30 pieces of silver.

    • The example being set by Chitotela ‘s case will result in civil servants and others arrested being allowed to continue working, what kind of justice system shall we have,wont they be interfering with investigations?So Chitotela will remain boss of the people who are supposed to appear as witnesses?Even Rupiah Banda useless as a president as he was suspended Dora when she was arrested.

    • Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema says police fired live ammunition at him and his supporters in Sesheke today.
      The incident happened during a political rally in the southwest of the country.
      Mr Hichilema’s Spokesman Brian Mwiinga also confirmed the incident in an interview.
      “Our lives are in danger as Police and PF cadres are discharging live ammunition at us and our people. We appeal to the Nation to remain calm but steadfast for any eventualities to come,” Mr Hichilema posted on his Facebook page.
      And Mr Mwiinga said Mr Hichilema wasn’t hurt in the incident.
      “It was shocking, the police just came from nowhere and began discharging live ammunition,” Mr. Mwiinga said.
      “Hichilema’s life is in danger,” he said.
      Western Province Police Commissioner Charles Lungu was unaware of the…

    • Continue
      Western Province Police Commissioner Charles Lungu was unaware of the incident.
      Meanwhile, UPND National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango has complained that the ugly PF violence under President Edgar Lungu’s leadership has once again been experienced in the usually peaceful Sesheke Constituency, in Western Province.
      Commenting on the teargasing which happened today in Sesheke, Mrs. Nalumango says from the happenings on the ground, there is no doubt this was yet another assassination attempt at the UPND President Hakainde Hichilema who the PF have been hunting for sometime now.
      Mrs. Nalumango says reports so far indicate that the PF thugs, some wearing police uniforms are still hunting for the UPND President, whose whereabouts and safety are unknown.
      She said even more…

    • Continue
      She said even more importantly, UPND is receiving disturbing news of several of its people being seriously injured after being brutalised and shot by hired PF thugs from various parts of the country.
      She has since urged UPND members to remain calm as as the party leadership establish the exact situation regarding Mr. Hichilema, party officials and several other people who are still being hunted by heavily armed hired PF thugs in Sesheke District.

    • Sunday is right. This country has been treating people who are accused of wrong doing as guilty until they prove themselves innocent which is wrong. This is not France where one is presumed guilty until proven innocent. The burden to prove someone guilty is on th Alleger. So I fully agree with Sunday

    • Lecture these good for nothings. The goons with an ignorant playbook of how they perceive Government runs. They think they will cheat their way through by messing the government up using unorthodox engineered falsehood using moles in institutions of Governance.
      Innocent until proven guilty – that’s the rule of law.
      If an arrest is made, it doesn’t mean one is guilty. There is no prima facie case here. Arrest someone and take 10 years just consolidating a case against someone.

    • Look at this young boy typing away like a ignoramus he is…why was your brother McPherson Chanda and that minister fired then ….why wasn’t law and order followed?

  2. What do you expect from a recipient of property (cars from his cash-transfer thief brother, MacPherson Chanda) suspected to be proceeds of crime?

    Sunday Chanda is a wrong person to comment on this, as he belongs to the crime family.

      You can—and should—report human rights abuses. Even if they are not prosecuted, publicity or the prospect of an investigation can have a restraining effect on the perpetrators. 
      List the specific Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that have been violated. 
      State the facts, as far as possible in chronological order.
      Include the date, time and place of the incident(s); name and position of the perpetrator(s); place of detention if applicable; names and addresses of any witnesses and any other important details. 
      Organizations to report to:
      Amnesty International
      Human Rights Action Center
      Human Rights Watch
      Children’s Defense Fund
      Other organizations eg ICC, EU, USA, UK govts

    • Ikalenifye naimwe. Is it a crime to even have properties. Even these useless charges of properties suspected to be proceeds of crime must be removed from our statutes. They are just used to victimise people. Open your eyes. Sunday is right

  3. Rubbish Chanda. The point many people are making is u have different ways of treating people. PF is a clear example of “animal farm “.

    Remember and draw the distinction between “government ” and PF. We have no problem how u treat people in the PF but we do have a problem with how u treat people in the government. Chitotela Chibola should be suspended pending investigation.

    • You are right my dear. These crooks are in leadership yet they don’t know anything about leadership and governance. This guy’s boy is a joke. We lost CK because I fired him after they came crying saying he is vaulger. So as a leader you only had one oppotion. Lungu is a scattered brain president. He could have put him on leave pending results of the court case. He is protecting his fellow kabolala. How are they going to search his office??? Lungu is useless. How did you guys vote for this mole out of the all Zambia

    • Sunday Chanda lishilu ignore him. He wants to appear to be more knowledgeable than educated Zambians whereas infact he was employed to talk nonsense for him and his children to survive hunger. Sad he missed bees we could have a break from his noise.

  4. Ba Sunday Chilufya Chanda, you must know the process of doing business, you’re not standing and encouraging the truth to prevail. You know deep in your heart that what you’re saying is untrue. Is HH the first person who has called or asked the president to suspend Hon Chitotela during the period of investigation? Poor practice of politics by you Mr. Chanda. Is that what is called Justice? I think Mr. Chanda you’re not a blessing to PF, but a liability in terms of ranting and communication.

  5. Mr Chanda , it is true that the fight against corruption should be within the law . But are you only realising this important aspect now ? You cannot be taken seriously because you and your party and government leadership lack consistency .
    Your so called fight against corruption and application of the law is selective .
    1 . How many military and security officers have your leaders fired in national interest without being heard just because of being suspected of being opposition sympathisers and without being heard or going through due legal processes ?
    2 . How many civil servants / parastatal employs and your own PF members have been sacked for trying to do the right thing ?
    You are not fighting corruption but protecting corruption because you are deeply involved in it .
    By the way…

  6. This boy talks from the back end most of the time . His Brother was suspended by Lazy Lungu to pave way for smooth investigations .The same bloom should be used against Chitotela who is now being wrapped in cotton wool and provided with a steel wall protection by the same man who is supposed to be fighting corruption from the bottom of his heart. Let us face it , Lungu does not have the capacity or will to fight corruption

  7. What’s the catch ba Chanda? Your own brother and blood relative was fired and yet you had no guts or balls to defend him you mappet. Kabanshi was fired on mare speculations and it was even discovered that the money was sitting somewhere in a ZANACO account and the president did not even know about it? You must be a misguided and misogynistic puppet who wants to jump on anything in the hope, Lungu will elevate you to a prominent position. Alas, even him has realized that you are only good to be used as a stooge to advance his misrule and nothing else. Learn to shut your trap if you have nothing to do or say, silence is golden. You want to defend a criminal who the ACC has slapped with criminal charges? Just wait for him to appear in court and more charges will be added soon, you…

  8. fighting corruption in Zambia is premised on wanting everyone to remain poor. One cannot even get commissions as the very whites do in their countries. Here its called corruption and in Britain, its called commission. Worse we now have adopted these laws that make the accused to prove himself innocent instead of the persecutors to prove that the property was proceeds of crime. We need to amend our laws in this country

  9. Ba PF, your days are numbered.Honestly, someone who has been implicated in corrupt activities should continue to serve and will be boss to these who would offere to be states witnesses.How is it going to work? No logic i wee mwaiche chanda. By the way, which school did you go to?

  10. Chitotela must be allowed to serve. He is not guilty of wrong doing. When ACC arrested Zambia Law Development Commission Director, was she fired? No she is working while the case is in Court. Chitotela is not first one.

  11. “..This means all the more than 80 officers, including the Permanent Secretary, who are currently on suspension from the Ministry of Education on mere suspicion of financial embezzlement must immediately go back to work until their matter has been concluded”, he said.
    Mr. Hichilema said former Minister of Community Development Emerine Kabanshi and her officers plus the Post Master General McPherson Chanda and his officers who were dismissed on mere allegations of misusing the Social Cash Transfer Funds must immediately resume work until their matter has been determined…”

    Counter HH instead of trying to dupe the masses…

  12. Mr.Chanda speaks about human rights as if Hon.Chitotela has a right to a Ministerial position.Nobody has presumed RKC guilty.People want him sidelined because he is a powerful position to effectively interfere with investigations.More importantly,ECL’s own integrity and commitment to fight the perception of high corruption in government is seriously compromised by his refusal to distance himself from him, especially that RKC has a history of being fired for the same allegations.RKC has been arrested by ACC and is on bond.Hon Kambwili was never under arrest when he was fired.

  13. Usual moronic comment from “learned”
    ???? !mbecile. Ba Chanda, do you know what are you crapping about?
    Put your crapping head in toilet bowl, pull the chain and sing: ” I am not worth of you”.

  14. My opinion:
    Both Sunday Chanda and his accusers are correct all things being equal. How is that possible? Well, it is simple. The problem is the environment in which we live, an environment of fake news, fake allegations perpetrated by people who are serving nothing but their political interests. What President Lungu is saying is that he will not repeat his mistake of firing Chimbwili by doing the same on Chitotela. Despite firing Chimbwili a long time ago, he has not been brought to court or convicted. Meaning that the ACC can sometimes act on fake information and mislead the President. President Lungu seems to be smarter than all his detractors and learns his lessons well. The President is saying to us, in this environment of fake news if I fire my ministers on meer allegations likely…

    • We are not saying the president should fire Hon. Chitotela, but suspend him from duties while investigations are carried out. President Lungu who is a lawyer by profession knows what justice is, and he could have suspended Hon. C Kabwili pending investigations than firing him. No due diligence justice has been applied following the laid down rules when one is under investigations, in both Hon Chitotela and Hon. C Kabwili cases. Hence, Sunday is just ranting without substance to please his master, hoping that he could be appointed to a higher position either PF or government.

  15. ……. The President is saying to us, in this environment of fake news, if I fire my ministers on mere alkegations based on fake news, who shall remain with in cabinet? How shall I govern the country as mandated by the people of Zambia? That is the context in which you should understand the refusal by the President to fire Chitotela, and the context in which Trib.al Hacks is accusing the President of setting a bad precedent. The bad precedent is ONLY the fake news that Trib.al Hacks and his tri.bal upnd has introduced in this country. Unfortunately for trib.al upnd the President is way way smarter and politically savvy than Trib.al Hacks ever shall be.

    • To suggest that the President has no confidence in his own investigative wings and that they operate on fake news has even more serious and wider implications than you might think..I suggest you eat your buns

  16. Was Emerine ever given a chance to prove herself innocent? Was the account in Zanaco ever revealed in who s name it was revealed. This is selective justice, at least Chitotela should be send on leave until investigations are over. He reports to his office as though nothing is amiss, how many documents can he destroy or hide now that he is sitting on the fire? This case is going nowhere as we can see that ACC will not be able to get all the information they need, too much red tape protecting Chitotela and ACC will be made to look like they do not know what they are doing.

  17. We have fine examples from Western countries in their dealings with misconduct in public office. The indication is that we are doing the correct things constitutionally in keeping with Human rights and rights of accused individuals in law.
    Someone has pointed out that the Trump Administration including the President himself are all accused and being investigated for one thing or another.
    Secondly, a fine example from the UK of an MP, Fiona Onasanya, a Labour MP who has been suspended and urged to resign from parliament by her party AFTER being found guilty of repeatedly lying to avoid a speeding ticket.). His Excellency exonerated, his statement was correct.

    • All in all, nothing turns in current status of the Chitotela case.

      It’s understood of some contention coming from other cases of suspended MPs, before investigation. On that matter the nature of those suspensions, it is worth considering if those suspended MPs could continue in the work place effectively and maintain a good image with their colleagues. Also what was the nature of their breach of duty? Were the breaches similar to Chitotela? A balancing of those factor could have been at the fore of the decision taken to suspend them, i.e Would there have been an abhorrent image presented to the publuc?

  18. Well articulated, a Man is innocent until he is declared guilty.

    Proverbs 18

    17 The first one to plead his cause seems right,
    Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

  19. #20.3 MuZambian, sorry I don’t buy buns because I don’t eat them. I have already had my breakfast with health bread so you can eat the buns.
    My point remains the same for you, Spaka and any other trib.als. The point is that Sunday Chanda and you the trib.als are both correct in your arguments. The differences are due to context, circumstances and the complexion of the matter at hand. Unfortunately, politics is not an exact science, you can make your mistakes and you can make the corrections.
    Now please eat your buns sir, I will send you some jam!!!

  20. Where is Laura Miti, TIZ and other Civil Society Organisations? We need to conduct some protest matches. This is unacceptable. How can an accused man, not only accused but charged and arrested by law enforcement how can such a one be allowed to continue in his job? This is a circus.
    People this is our Country, we can do something not just sitting

  21. #28 Maria, feel free to entice Laura Miti to your battle, unwinnable really. In any case, this is not the sort of matter Laura Miti fights for.
    By the way you sound like a typical trib.al with a one celled brain.

    • And you sir, sound like a typical theif from Plunders Federation who onlycares to steal on the backs of hard working suffering Zambians…

  22. Sunday, sometimes it it is best to just keep quiet.Sunday, you are young and some of this nonsence you are defending will just darken your future.

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