Tag: third term

They are trying to keep themselves in power at any cost – Dr M’membe

They are trying to keep themselves in power at any cost – Dr M’membe Featured

It’s very clear that President Edgar Lungu and his disciples are trying to impose their will on all of us.

They are trying to keep themselves in power at any cost. They have made it impossible for this country to have free and fair elections this year.

President Lungu is not only trying to impose himself as a presidential candidate when the Constitution clearly doesn’t allow a third term of office, but he has also made it impossible for his competitors to politically mobilise.

But what Mr Lungu and his disciples do not seem to understand is that the social furniture of modern society is so complicated and fragile that it cannot support the Jackboot. We cannot run the processes of modern society by attempting to impose our will upon others by all sorts of crooked, corrupt and repressive schemes. If they have not learned that they have learned nothing. Whatever might be their motivation to seek a third term at any cost, there’s no doubt about its imbecility.

I beg President Lungu and his disciples to turn their backs on this most ugly way of seeking to perpetuate their hold on power and realise that if they are to live in this country and be regarded as decent people deserving the respect of others, they have to act up to different standards than the one they have been following.

These are methods of barbarism. If these are not methods of barbarism, what methods does barbarism employ?

We have been taught that “the man who abides by unjust laws and permits any man to trample and mistreat the country in which he was born, is not an honourable man…In the world there must be a certain degree of honour just as there must be a certain amount of light. When there are many men without honour, there are always others who bear in themselves the honour of many men. These are the men who rebel with great force against those who steal human honour itself. In those men thousands more are contained, an entire people is contained, human dignity is contained…

“It’s understandable that honest people should be victimised, repressed and humiliated in a Republic where a criminal, cruel, intolerant and tyrannical gang is in power. Fred M’membe

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