By Venus N Msyani
Like on freedom of expression, President Hakainde Hichilema achievement on the rule of law is hard to comprehend.
He is using the fight against corruption to measure his achievement on the rule of law, which is good. However, the president is not being honest on the outcome.
Last April during a press conference, while trying to explain why his fight against corruption has not started yielding positive results, President Hichilema made a false claim.
He claims that his administration is fighting corruption within the rule of law, which was absent under the previous government. That today an opposition leader is called to the police at 14hrs, charged, arrested at 15hrs, and given bond at 16:30.
President Hichilema is not being sincere. There has been no report of anyone getting arrested and securing bond within two or three hours. Suspects continue to spend days under police custody.
Yes, the rule of law was absent under the patriotic front (PF) government. However, one cannot claim it is present under new dawn administration.
Transporting suspects to remote police stations to go and answer charges that could be answered at a local police station would definitely disqualify the claim. It makes United Party for National Development (UPND) government appear worse that PF government.
Calling people clique of thieves is another act that disqualifies the claim. By calling corruption suspects clique of thieves President Hichilema automatically became the accuser.
When the accused (clique of thieves) appear in court, it puts judges in the fix because the integrity of the president (the accuser) comes into play.
Ruling in favor of any accused among the clique of thieves means acting against the president. Would be very surprised if there is any judge out there who doesn’t feel intimidated.
Cadres are openly demanding courts to be occupied by judges who support president Hakainde fight against corruption. Judges who are deemed difficult are being transferred out of Lusaka. Calling it the rule of law implies that we have lost the meaning of the rule of law.
Talking about freedom of expression. The new dawn administration about to break a record on defamation of the president arrests. Almost every week, someone is arrested for defaming the president.
Despite that President Hakainde Hichilema claims his administration has restored freedom of expression in the country. Is there anyone out there who is able comprehend?