Friday, 13 March 2015

Panga Politics and the Rule of Law

The ruling party in Zambia, the Patriotic Front  (PF)  'yesterday issued a strong warning against High Court judge Chitabo of grave consequences if he does not reverse the decision to stay the tribunal appointed to probe Mutembo Nchito',   (Nichito is the Director of Public Prosecutions, ed.).  The PF has also instructed these PF Youth Cadres       

to prevent the reinstated DPP from reaching his offices (reports the Zambian Watchdog).   Last night a PF 'delegation' also visited the house of the High Court judge who issued the order to suspend the tribunal while its constitutionality was considered.  

The judge has promised to reconsider the matter this morning.

The  President of Zambia, on whose instruction the tribunal was instituted and who set its terms of reference and membership, as well as suspending the DPP  during its enquiries -  not to mention appointing another DPP, perhaps more 'sympathetic' to his Executive - is  currently  hospitalised in Johannesburg after collapsing at a women's gala march-past in Lusaka.

Having reconsidered his suspension of the tribunal of enquiry into the Zambian DPP, this morning the judge reinstated it and reinstated the suspension of the DPP.  Well, he would, wouldn't he.   

Meanwhile the President of Zambia is to be discharged from the clinic in Pretoria to which he had been transferred from hospital in Johannesburg, and advised to proceed to Pakistan should he wish to undertake any further treatment, or to return home.  While the US ambassador to Zambia has denied that he has referred to the President having health issues the media is reporting serious concerns on the president's condition.

So Zambia has a newly elected president already hospitalized and out of the country, a vice-president out of the country on a jaunt to the UN and Japan (Japan?), and an acting president  in Lusaka swearing in high officers of the state, the executive, and the civil service.  Sata's demise in late 2014 is beginning to look positively plain sailing in comparison.

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