By Judith Mulenga CiSCA Chairperson
The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) strongly condemns the extremely dangerous, discriminatory and unconstitutional utterances by Patriotic Front member Munir Zulu, when he clearly violated the constitutionally guaranteed right of every person in Zambia not to be discriminated against.
During a discussion on Muvi TV’s “The Furnace” aired on Thursday 8th April 2021, and anchored by Kelvin Tabula Chifokolo, Munir Zulu unashamedly declared that, “the minority cannot rule over the majority” in Zambia. Ironically, Munir Zulu referred to the “genocide in Rwanda”, while he himself was making utterances similar to what caused the genocide in Rwanda.
Munir Zulu’s utterances clearly violate our Constitution. In the Preamble, we the Zambian people commit to “Recognise and uphold the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of our Nation…” Further, the substantive provision of Article 4(3) of the same Constitution also recognizes the fact that “The Republic (of Zambia) is a unitary, indivisible, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-party democratic State…”
Munir Zulu’s utterances also violate Section 70 sub section (1) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, which states that, “Any person who utters any words or publishes any writing expressing or showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for any person or group of persons wholly or mainly because of his or their race, tribe, place of origin or colour is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.” Therefore by making the utterances that Munir made on national television, Munir committed a cognizable offence and does not need to be reported by anyone for him to be arrested by the police.
CiSCA wonders where Munir Zulu gets the guts to so recklessly violate our Constitution? Looking at the unfettered diabolical confidence which Munir Zulu displayed during the interview as he spewed his prejudices against other Zambians and his ignorant interpretation of what constitutes minority and democratic elections, it seemed like he had the support of his party’s higher offices. If not, we challenge the Secretary General of the PF to publicly and strongly censure Munir. We believe that Munir, like many other cadres in the ruling party, have been emboldened by other leaders in the party who have similarly uttered reckless statements without retribution from senior leadership in the party.
Munir, has a very low random access memory (RAM) because since 2016 with the 50 + 1% votes needed for one to become President, the so called ‘majorities’ need the so called ‘minorities’ even more than before. If in 2001 during the first past the post electoral process, President Mwanawasa was elected from the so called minority ethnic extraction and became President, what about now? Did Munir miss the memo on the attempted ‘kavundula’ Bill 10 and what its aim was? Does he not know that he is shooting his party in both feet at the same time?
CiSCA calls on the police to immediately arrest Munir Zulu. If they don’t, we will be left with no option but to report his non-arrest to the Office of the Public Protector under Article 244 of our Constitution and if nothing happens with this office, we will escalate the matter to relevant regional and international bodies as we will deem the non action as having exhausted all local remedies. We want to remind this violent cadre and his ilk that non discrimination is the cornerstone of the international human rights framework that compelled the United Nation’s drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted on 10th December 1948 because of the inhuman treatment of the Jewish people and others deemed ‘undesirables’ by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Seventy-two years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this man can brazenly spew such vitriol against other ethnic groupings without any consequences? We cannot allow this level of lawlessness to continue unabated. This is extremely dangerous, and a real threat to our peace and stability. We also would like to take this opportunity to remind the nation that since 10th December 1948, human rights stopped being a sovereignty matter! The global community realized that dictators thrive on suppression of their people’s human rights and on divide and rule.
Zambia is not an “animal farm” where some people are more equal than others. We are a constitutional democracy, and all citizens have an equal claim to the running of the affairs of this country, regardless of their ethnicity, social, economic, political, religious or any other basis. We are all equal, and our equality is unconditional. Period!