By Sean Tembo – PeP President
1. In his commentary when he featured on a Hot FM radio program yesterday, President Hakainde Hichilema stated that the reason Mumbi Phiri was arrested and charged with murder is because she issued a statement that she was present when the alleged victim; Lawrence Banda was shot. And also that she said Lawrence Banda was shot because he had tried to grab a hand bag.
2. Well, if what the President said is the only evidence which the State has against Mumbi Phiri, then why was she arrested and charged with murder? Because at the most, her alleged statement makes her a witness to the alleged crime, and not an accessory or a perpetrator.
3. President Hakainde Hichilema went on to say that Mumbi Phiri should have been arrested way before the UPND ascended to power, because she had admitted to being present when Lawrence Banda was shot. Is the President now telling us that merely being present when an alleged murder is taking place makes one a murderer too?
4. Additionally, you could see the amount of disdain in the President’s eyes when he spoke about Mumbi Phiri, which shows that he personally hates Mumbi Phiri with a passion. Suffice to mention that such apparent deep-rooted hatred by a person who wields so much power as a Republican President, against an ordinary citizen, is extremely dangerous. The President has so many avenues available to inflict pain and suffering on Mumbi Phiri, in furtherance of his hate for her.
5. Evidently, President Hakainde Hichilema decided to use his powers to cloth Mumbi Phiri with a murder charge based on very flimsy grounds, going by the evidence adduced by the President himself yesterday on Hot FM radio. It appears that the President then went on to directly or indirectly ensure that Mumbi Phiri is not taken for trial any time soon, so that she can suffer in prison as much as possible, before the courts acquit her.
6. Indeed, if the only evidence which the State has against Mumbi Phiri is what President Hakainde Hichilema stated on radio yesterday, then there is no doubt that when Mumbi Phiri is finally taken for trial, she will be acquitted. Or in order to save face, the State will enter a nolle prosequi against her. However, even when that happens, Hakainde Hichilema will still be a happy man because he would have already inflicted adequate extra-judicial punishment on Mumbi Phiri, by incarcerating her without trial for close to a year.
7. It is a shame that instead of using the power that was bestowed on him by the people of Zambia on 12th August 2021, to improve the people’s welfare, President Hakainde Hichilema is using his presidential powers to fight petty battles against his perceived enemies. Instead of pursuing development, he is pursuing vengeance. But for how long will the people of Zambia feed on Hakainde’s persecution of his opponents, given that there is a lot of hunger and growing anger among the masses due to lack of employment and increasing cost of living? Only time will tell.