5th August, 2014
The Hon. Minister of Justice
Wynter Kabimba SC, ODC
Ministry of Justice
RE: REACTIONS ON YOUR SUNDAY INTERVIEW COMMENTS
Firstly allow me to thank you for your appearance on one of the citizen’s favorites programme in Zambia “The Sunday Interview” hosted by Gravazio Zulu on Zambian National Broadcasting Service (ZNBC).
Sir, your presentation did not bring anything new per se, but like many of your presentations as a Minister of Justice and the Secretary General of the Ruling Patriotic Front (PF), you missed an opportunity to inspire many Zambians to have confidence in your government and the party. The interview made me remember the times of Micheal Chilufya Sata as a minister then, he would rise to such an occasion and give the nation serious policy directions on any issue to the point that you feel inspired. No wonder today Mr. Sata he is in State House.
Allow me to react to specific issues where I felt you could have done better. I am sure many other Zambians would share my interviews as well.
In your presentation you stated that your Government has a number of priorities, which you outlined in an order suggesting that the new constitution is not as important compared to provision of Water, Education, Health, Agriculture, etc.
Sir, this is highly manipulative and a misrepresentation of your campaign promises on which your party won the votes of the Zambians, especially the simple people who do not speak English (as you had put it on the programme).
Sir, with all due respect you as an astute Lawyer, State Council (SC), Order of Distinguished Service (ODS) and a Secretary General (SG) of the PF, you fully understand that Zambia is a Constitutional State which means that it draws all its sovereignty, laws and practices from the constitution. And a Constitutional State relies on a good constitution to be a good State. Logic follows that, if a Constitutional State has a bad Constitution, the State is also bad. And if there are good leaders, with goodwill for the State, they would enact a good Constitution.
It is unarguable fact that our current constitution if defective in many ways, and this is why it was put in your manifesto, however, you are still holding on to this bad constitution 3 years after being in power when you were in such a harry to change it within 90 days. I wonder what leadership you are espousing by keeping a bad constitution which you promised to change.
It is also manipulative to argue that the Constitution is not as important compared to service delivery. My simple question to you sir is, what comes first in a Constitutional State like ours between, Good Governance (through a good Constitution) and provision of social services? My take is that, a Good Government would give all the citizens need because even if the leaders are bad, they would be compiled by the Constitution to do the right thing. Thank God, at least the current constitution states that, there shall be elections every 5 years, whether you disposed to it or not.
PF not Voted by the Elite
Sir, I honestly feel unappreciated personally, and I am sure many other Zambians in areas like Lusaka, Central, Copperbelt and other middle class populated areas. I wonder SG, who brings about change in a Country like ours. My humble knowledge informs me that the middle class (the few that speak English) are the protagonists of change.
In one of our customs there is a saying that, “don’t insult a Crocodile while still in Water”. I guess PF is still swimming in the political river after 2011.
The Elite wants to Hijack the President
You accused the elite that they want to hijack Sata. With due respect, I think you (and a few other associates of yours) are the ones that have hijacked him from the Zambian people and confined him in State House. Our President is not even seen in public and yet he is well known for his love of public interaction and the people love him back for that.
A Press Conference is important for any leader, especially a President. During a Press Conference citizens and, especially, the Press have a chance to interact with their President. It is a fact that the President work through his ministers, but it must be borne in mind that some of these ministers do not even have a people’s mandate to even speak so courageously using the votes allotted to another person.
Please allow our President to be seen in public, mingling with people like before.
The health of the President
I sympathise with President Sata because it is clear that something is wrong with him otherwise he would not stay away from his people. I have followed Sata’s political career since the time I was a child. Mr. Sata can never confine himself to State House even if his age has advanced.
Hon. Minister I verily believe Micheal Chilufya Sata is not well.
You and other ministers can try to hide the truth purporting that our beloved President is well but I (and the people of Zambia) can see beyond your words and as they always say, the Truth will soon come out. I hope that Truth will not burry you as individuals and leaders of this Country.
Zambians love Sata and they would be happy to be with him in times of difficulties include his health. By not giving the Country correct information you are denying us the opportunity to show love to our President, instead you are making us look like malicious people. I would be very happy if you brought me before the President to prove me wrong about the health of the President.
Open Door Policy
Sir, I am usually disgruntled, when I hear some of the PF ministers talk about “Open Door Policy” in public, because this is a total misrepresentation of facts. Many PF ministers have no such policy; their offices are not accessible and cordial at all.
For the sake of evidence we have been trying to engage you on many occasions including a letter which was written to you on 20th May 2014 to which we have never even received an acknowledgment.
This is not just an exception of your office, but a number of Ministers are not accessible to the people and yet claim to be working on behalf of the President. It might be good for you to visit offices like that of Hon. Kambwili and see what an open door policy means.
Sir, we appreciate it when you say you want to engage with open minds to convince each other on issues. I must hasten to say that many civil society organizations and the Church stand for that, but you don’t seem to walk the talk which leaves us with no option but to engage you in the media.
I hope you will appreciate my reactions, which I know many well-meaning Zambians share, and do the right thing before it is too late.
Mind you, the elite writes letters and talk through the media, but those simple people (those who don’t know English according to you) speak in their own fashion when they feel their rights as citizens have been suppressed enough.
Intimidation of the Media
It is common among political figures in governance to intimidate the media when they ask pressing questions. This was exhibited during the programme when you accused the interviewer of over-stretching democracy. I found that very unfortunate coming from the Justice Minister.
Journalists do not present their own voice but that of the people. People have the right to demand for answers through journalists especially by those paid by the public.
It would be better to give the journalists information so that they can in-turn inform the nation correctly instead of intimidating them.
The Zambian people, especially the simple people, need the new constitution so that they are not at any individual’s mercy. The Constitution will grantee them Health, Education, Food security through agriculture, dignity through suitable employment and respect through Justice and human rights. Every person is corrupt therefore a good constitution must be enacted to regulate the insensate desire to take advantage of others.
The PF government would do better to lead this Country on Truth other than misrepresentations.
CC: The Producer “Sunday Interview Programme” (ZNBC)