CHUMBU MUNSHOLOLWA CRIMINAL DEFAMATION WENT NOWHERE

Bootlickers Denting Bally’s Good Image, “Teke “Amatako Panshi” Take It Easy.

“…….Magistrate Vincent Siloka said he had listened more than ten times to the recording in which it was alleged that the ABZ leader had insulted President Sata…….”

Then opposition of disbanded Alliance for Better Zambia leader Frank Bwalya in 2014 was acquitted of charges of defaming late President Michael Sata in a case in which he had likened the Head of State to a sweet potato.

Mr Bwalya was arrested after he used a Bemba idiom; ‘Khumbu munshololwa’ about President Sata’s uncompromising stance on national issues.

Mr Bwalya, Zambia’s immediate past Ambassador to Australia featured on Radio Mano, on a paid for the programme when he uttered those words.

In acquitting Mr Bwalya, Kasama Magistrate Vincent Siloka said he had listened more than ten times to the recording in which it was alleged that the ABZ leader had insulted President Sata but did not hear any part where the opposition leader had called the Head of State ichipuba, ushitontokanya and muwelewele.

Magistrate Siloka said the words he heard from the radio recording was Mr Bwalya likening President Sata to a sweet potato when he said the Head of State was Khumbu munshololwa which was not an insult but an idiom.

Magistrate Siloka emphasised the need to respect the office of the President while stating that freedom of expression should be observed at all times.

He ruled that Mr Bwalya as a politician had the right to criticize the government and expose its shortcomings as a way of wrestling power from the party in government to use the same for the good of the country should the electorate vote for his political party.

Magistrate Siloka added that there was nothing wrong with Mr Bwalya criticising the party in government because that was the function of the opposition of providing checks and balances.

Analysis

We do not dispute that traditional speaking what Mr Raphael Nakachinda is attributed to have said towards the Head of State could be misinterpreted as an insult in some circles.

However, the path we are taking as a nation is not progressive. It is denting the image of President Hakainde Hichilema, who many see to be a messiah to rule Zambia differently from the condemned Patriotic Front.

At the time, Mr Bwalya was arrested, the Inspector-General of Police then was Kakoma Kanganja. The same mistake is repeating itself under the reign of Lemmy Kajoba, as the new Inspector General of Police.

The UPND while in opposition disliked Mr Kanganja, accused the PF of influencing the operations of the Police. Sadly, from today’s event, police wise, on this particular issue, the nation is not different from the reigns of the PF.

Such misjudgements by the Police are costly to the treasury as such people if acquitted by the Courts, can sue the State.

In conclusion, President Hichilema must fix this piece of Law. Also, the opposition avoids using demeaning words toward the Head of State as you provide checks and balances.

The Speech Analyst

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