Tag: third term

It’s not out hatred, fear of losing but principle

It’s not out hatred, fear of losing but principle

When we say that President Edgar Lungu is not eligible to contest the 2021 presidential elections it is not out of hatred or fear of losing to him.

Even if Mr Lungu was a very weak candidate who could be easily defeated our position does not change – the principle and requirements of the rule of law do not change. We may have chameleon-like politicians but our country’s Constitution does not change in that psychedelic way.

We are saying this simply out of principle, out of respect for the rule of law.

And this does not require very complicated legal arguments. It is a very simple and straightforward matter.

And put simply: Mr Lungu has been elected to the office of President of the Republic of Zambia twice. And he has been sworn in as President twice – serving two terms as president.

The issue of his first term being less than three years does not arise or apply here. It arises when or applies to a person who assumes the office of President as Vice-President, without being elected, when the President dies, resigns or is removed from office for any reason.

Mr Lungu did not assume office as Vice-President and without elections in 2015. He contested presidential elections twice and won.

You can call us all sorts of names, threaten us in all sorts of ways and accuse us of all sorts things but that will not change this reality.

It does not matter what legal gymnastics they will try to play they will not succeed in changing this reality. They can ignore it, but that will not change this reality. They tried to change this reality with Bill 10 but they failed.

We know very well that we are dealing with people who have very little, or no respect, for the rule of law. These are people who are used to getting whatever they want, regardless of what the law says. They don’t seem to realise that the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self limitation and modesty.

But that should not stop us from pointing out the truth or correct positions.

History has taught us that once a government is committed to manipulating the law, the Constitution to get whatever it wants, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of tyranny to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear and silence.

We should not accept to be silenced over this illegality of Mr Lungu’s third term bid.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Third term of office

Third term of office

The third term debate is unnecessary and a waste of time.

There’s no room for a third term under the current Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. Put simply, anyone who has been elected to the office of President twice cannot be elected for a third time. This is the way things stand and it needs no further disquisitions.

Those who thought they could change the Constitution through Bill 10 and give themselves a third term of office should simply accept defeat – their game is over.

There’s need for them to realise there’s no political leader who has had a career that is without its defeats. If we are serious when we talk about influencing the masses, about winning their good will, we must strive with all our might not to let these defeats be hushed up in the musty atmosphere of circles and grouplets, but to have them submitted to the judgement of all. That may appear embarrassing at first sight, it may seem offensive sometimes to individual leaders – but we must overcome this false feeling of embarrassment, it is our duty to the masses of our people and our country.

In this way, and in this way alone, shall we enable all our people – and not the chance assortment of persons in a circle or grouplet – to know their leaders and to put each of them in his or her proper category.

It’s important in politics to avoid being too harsh and stiff-necked and totally refuse to yield.

And yielding is legitimate and essential when the yielder is convinced that those who are striving to make him yield are in the right – in which case, honest political leaders frankly and openly admit their mistake – or when an irrational and harmful demand is yielded to in order to avert a greater evil.

Fred M’membe
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali