Damn Zambians dumb over Rupiah’s parentage
 By Mazuba Mwiinga
Haven’t we been likened to a second hand goods kind of a nation before? And haven’t we been before labelled as an evasive and complacent people? Where we are expected to act with nobility, we sink our heads in sand with shameless incapacity. Where we need to be sensible and show restraint and tolerance we bark like drunken Condors. What sort of species are we anyway?

Does anyone care about the Rupiah parentage issue? From my pigeon hole, a complacent nation with its evasive citizens, I see no one getting interested. Is it because a couple of us fall under Article 34 of the Constitution? That our parents or one of them is damn foreigner? That we don’t want to throw stones at some one because we live in glass houses?

Do we even know what allegiance to your nation means? Or learning from our ugly past gives us today? Only yesterday we were throwing tantrums on FTJ because of his atrocious leadership; reason, he was highly and over whelming suspected of being a foreigner. Where did it leave us? A leader with two faces and compromised allegiance. But we stand aloof and think this whole matter is political. Well, political it may be; but do we know that politics can either rule or ruin our lives?

A true son and daughter of a nation always take each matter that arises on a Constitution with great interest. A legally embedded mind always looks at the scale of justice, no matter how bad the law may seem to be to society; and speaking of the Supreme law of the land; the Constitution, no single person need to get away with it, until specks of suspicions are cleared.

Rupiah’s parentage is being challenged, but no sane Zambian seems to have interest in what is going on. Its only when the court will decide in favour of the complainant that someone will say, “Oh, so he wasn’t qualified!” Zambians with their attitudes towards patriotisms sucks.

Just a few months ago, world hero, Barack Obama was on hot rocks with his birth. He had to produce his birth certificate to satisfy the American populace that indeed he was qualified to lead the great nation of the World. Hasn’t he done that, the presumption would have remained that he was illegally ruling US and the road to impeachment would have been drawn.

Seemingly simple matters have destroyed nations because its citizens were so careless in reading between the lines. Allowing the un-allowable to happen is excusing bigger problems in future, because everyone will be referring to precedence. We need to know, and know very well whether Rupiah’s father was a Malawian or not.

History has it that in Malawi, late Hastings Kamuzu Banda ruled that country for close to 30 years, and it was only revealed after his death that in fact he wasn’t Malawian. And when you look at the kind of leader he was, you would cry with dreadful memories.

We have said it before, that making laws that hinge on personalities is setting traps that will hook you or your friends in future. And that’s what Rupiah’s friend late FTJ did in 1996 when his government pasted this parentage issue in the Constitution just to bar KK from intending to go back to State house.

Zambians need to seek the truth now; for it’s only now and never. Keeping mute and as dumb as a dumb just shows how insensitive this nation is over important and precarious matters.

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Burden of proof on Rupiah’s parentage
 by Mazuba Mwiinga
Hasn’t one wondered that pertinent issues in President Banda’s parentage case aren’t being addressed logically? More so, perplexed am I that even learned lawyers like Wynter Kabimba tend to wander like blind bats over the matter which has a clear passage to follow.

On the other hand isn’t it so immaterial for those lying on the table of debate that President Banda has been around as a civil servant since time immemorial, so he can’t be questioned about his parents now?

As a matter of fact having been in the government for along time before does not give Mr. Banda immunity from prosecution or investigation to ascertain whether or not his parents were foreigners.

The law of our land reads in black and white that if your parents were or are not Zambians, dare not aspire as a republican President because your credentials fall short of what is expected of a Zambian president.

To say why didn’t Rupiah’s critics bring the issue in 2008 when he stood as a republican president is like putting a theory that; “since I wasn’t caught when I stole last year, so why should I face litigation today when you have suspected me of stealing”.

Breaking the law with impunity without being questioned or caught does not warranty you from future prosecution when you are caught or suspected of having committed the same crime as previously. So whether or not no one questioned Rupiah’s candidature in 2008 is immaterial now as long as he has a case to answer.

Shock however slashes my back with pain to note that one Kibamba seeks the indulgence of the International community like UN, AU and SADC over a matter which is wholly domestic. Even when Kabimba feels our legal system is inadequate to help solve this matter, the AU, SADC and UN will never be better organs to bring sanity to the situation.

Zambia may be a signatory to many accords and instruments under such international organs, but these signatories aren’t domesticated into out local laws for them to be effected in our courts of law. This therefore stands as painting graffiti on the wall to see how one is frustrated over something.

Kabimba should be in a very better position than most of us to know that, the burden of proof over this matter lies on him and his PF to bring forward evidence that will stop Rupiah from successfully filing in his nominations next week.

Its not up to AU, SADC, UN stop Rupiah from contesting; Kabimba knows that, this is just a scare crow tactics to make some damn cadres shiver; neither is it in the hands of Rupiah to prove that his parents were Zambians because the rules of natural justice demands that he who has a cause against someone, need to prove his case with concrete evidence either beyond any reasonable doubt if it is a criminal case or on a balance of probability if it’s a civil case.

Making press briefings is a sheer waste of time and resources because that time and resources need to be spent on un covering the evidence and bringing the matter to court for Rupiah to stand trial in defending himself against any evidence that may be deduced there upon.

Absence of such evidence will be a clear successful nomination for Rupiah and subsequence re-election if voters decide so come September 20.  

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Zambia: Opposition to block Banda's nomination

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Zambia: Opposition to block Banda's nomination

by Mazuba Mwiinga

As Zambia’s tripartite election campaigns get tense, incumbent President Rupiah Banda’s nomination bid for re-election under the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), gets more shock waves from the opposition.

Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Wynter Kabimba, has now stretched his bid to stop President Banda from contesting the presidency by writing to SADC, AU and UN.

Speaking to journalists in Lusaka on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 Kabimba said that President Banda need to clear his parentage controversy before he files in his nomination to stand as a Presidential candidate for MMD.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set August 7 to 10 as period for the presidential nominations.

The Zambian constitution allows only a person whose both parents are Zambians by birth and descent to aspire for the highest seat in the nation. The PF and other critics of Mr. Banda claim that his mother was born in Zimbabwe where his father used to work as a Miner in the colonial days.

But MMD Secretary General Richard Kachingwe speaking to State television, ZNBC said that Mr. Kabimba’s sentiments are ‘baseless and have no substance’. He wondered why the PF is bringing in the issue now when Mr. Banda has worked in various positions in government before and that no one challenged his candidature during the 2008 presidential by election.

Mr. Banda’s press aide, Dickson Jere talking to journalists in Lusaka said that Mr. Banda will not stand in the way of anyone who wants to challenge his candidature but wondered why the PF want to seek legal redress from outside when Zambia has its own legal system they can seek help from.

The parentage clause in the Zambian constitution was put in 1996 when former president Kenneth Kaunda intended to stand against former late president Frederick Chiluba. Kaunda’s parents were from Malawi and this clause barred him from contesting the presidency in a country he ruled for 27years earlier.

Some critics say that, to say Mr. Banda has been around in government is immaterial and that all the PF need to do is prove that Mr. Banda’s parents were not Zambians. This matter is likely to intensify as the nomination date gets closer.

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Rupiah’s Presidential nomination on watch
by Mazuba Mwiinga
With Zambia's election date already on the calendar, and the Presidential nomination period now set for August 7 to 10, high expectations are on the wait as to whether incumbent president Rupiah Banda will be allowed to stand as his nationality has be questioned in the recent past.   

In a statement to the media on July 30, 2011 ECZ director Priscilla Isaac says that the Presidential nominations will take place at the Supreme Court before the Chief Justice with each aspiring candidate backed by 200 registered voters.

“Aspiring candidates will be required to pay K10 million ($2000) non-refundable nomination fee. Each aspiring candidate may have not more than two election agents per constituency for the presidential election,” Isaac said.

She said that Presidential aspiring candidates will be expected to lodge complete and attested statutory declaration, oath/affirmation of Zambian citizenship and nomination papers subscribed before the Chief Justice.

According to Article 34 (3) (b) of the Zambian Constitution a person can only be qualified to be a candidate for election as President if both his parents are Zambians by birth or descent and himself has been domiciled in Zambia for more than 20 years among other requirements.

But Mr. Banda’s critics have been urging the Law Association of Zambia to petition the Chief Justice in investigating his parentage claiming that his mother was Zimbabwean. Mr. Banda himself is on record as having said he was born in Zimbabwe where his father worked during the colonial days as a miner.

Article 34 (3) (a) of the Zambian Constitution requires one to aspire as a President if they were citizens of Zambia and for one to be a citizen they must have attained the age of 21 and legally registered by the Citizenship board and have been in Zambia for more than 10 years.

Mr. Banda have served in many government portfolios including that of diplomat in the independence government of former president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda from the 60s till the late 80s when he went into retirement. He was called back into active politics by the late Levy Mwanawasa in 2006 as vice President and attained the Presidency after the 2008 Presidential by elections after Mwanawasa demise.

His MMD Party speaking on ‘continuity with change’ is facing Micheal Sata’s Patriotic Front (PF) campaigning on a platform of ‘change for more money in your pockets’, and the United Party for National Development (UPND) of Hakainde Hichilema campaigning on the ‘real and meaningful change for a better Zambia’.

Whichever change will ring a bell in the ears of the electorate this is likely to be Zambia’s most highly contested election since independence in 1964. The three major Parties will have to share the five million plus registered voters captured by the ECZ.

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