Lusaka Lawyer and State Counsel John Sangwa has advised the political parties that are participating in the Kabwata bye-election to sue the UPP candidate that pulled out of the poll at the last minute for compensation and damages.
SC Sangwa said that a suit is probably the only way that will deter others like him (Francis Libanda of UPP) in the future from making expensive bad decisions´ that inevitably affect others in the race.
“The move by the Kabwata guy was crazy,” Mr. Sangwa said, “if he didn’t like what was going on he should have stayed home and stopped campaigning instead of messing things up for everyone…he must be sued and the rest of the players must claim compensation from him for the fiasco.”
Sangwa said it’s time Zambia started making wrongdoing expensive or else what happened in Kabwata shall recur.
Speaking when he featured on MuviTV’s Assignment program, Mr. Sangwa also implored the Anti-Corruption Commission to halt any future arrests of suspects before exhausting investigations because it is embarrassing to arrest and detain people you have to later acquit.
Sangwa described as traumatic, and unjust arresting and trying someone who is later proven innocent after soiling their names in the public eye.
“I was part of a long seven-year corruption trial of President Frederick Chiluba that cost so much but proved nothing except hurting President Chiluba. That should never happen again unless you exhaust your probe and are ready for a conviction. Seven years is traumatic for anyone and it was traumatic for President Chiluba,” said Mr Sangwa.
Sangwa advised ACC in the future to investigate first and arrest later, not the other way round, adding that it’s crazy and illegal to do that.
On Criminal Defamation of Raphael Nakachinda, Mr.Sangwa advised the Patritic Front (PF) and other members of the Zambian society to petition the parliament and seek an immediate repeal of the criminal defamation law that recently saw former minister Nakachinda detained for allegedly defaming President Hchilema without a charge under 24 hours.
Sangwa said the unfortunate part currently is that the criminal defamation law remains the law and breaking it is illegal, so the best thing is to revisit its repeal, 22 years after himself and partner Robert Simeza tried to have it scrapped but failed after going all the way to the Supreme Court.
“The PF as an interested party must take up the matter of criminal defamation and seek its repeal from the books, it’s a bad law but it’s a law until it’s repealed. Maybe there will be a change of heart from the high court and supreme court after 22 years of our first attempt.”