Let us lend credence to the cause that Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi is championing over the alleged abduction of the Pheluna and Milton Hatembo.

In Section 253 of the Penal Code of Zambia, abduction is defined as follows:
“Any person who by force compels or by any deceitful means, induces, any person to go from any place, is said to abduct that person”.

The elements that must exist and be proved beyond reasonable doubt to secure a conviction are established in the definition of abduction.
Section 153 of the Penal Code provides that there must be:
1. Force to compel, or
2. Induce through deceit,
3. A person as a result of 1 and 2 leaves a place
Only then do such actions amount to abduction.
Further, section 256 of the Penal Code provides for the offence and punishment of abduction as illustrated above.
It says “any person who kidnaps or abducts any person with intent to cause that person to be secretly and wrongfully confined, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”
To be clear, a person who induces through lies or uses force to compel a person to leave a place will be imprisoned for seven years if found guilty.

The law is as straight forward as this.

However, one needs to pause here and ask the question.
How is abduction proved?
Can it be proved in the absence of the person alleged have been abducted?
How then does the court hear evidence on the use of “force to compel” or “inducement through lies” that made a person leave a place?

The next question to ask would be: Who is the complainant in an abduction case?
Is it the person so compelled by force or induced through deceit or a witness to the said actions?

It is important for us to understand the elements of a crime and the circumstances surrounding such a prosecution in order to avoid using emotions.
Prosecutions based on emotions waste taxpayers’ money and divert the law enforcers from common everyday duties of providing security to members of the community at the lowest level.

There are many cases of burglary, house-breaking, theft, robberies and white-collar crimes that deprive our society of their ubuntu.

These are cases whose impact is felt large-scale unlike ones commenced for personal gratification.
Oftentimes, we have seen how such cases end up in the much-abused nolle prosequi.

Last week, Nawakwi called in to a radio programme whose topic was on something else but she was so overburdened with what she claims to be abduction evidence against United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema.

In her call, she levelled the following allegations:
1. HH has abducted the Hatembo siblings who lost a case of illegal occupation of a farm they are beneficiaries of.
2. HH has confined the Hatembos to his house, which was why Tonga chiefs, and none from Namwangaland or the Northern region, were being arrested.
3. Pheluna Hatembo’s daughter called Nawakwi to complain about hardships they are facing because their mother is abducted.
4. Nawakwi periodically speaks to the Pheluna’s children and she also helps them
5. The Zambia Police must go and search for the Hatembos at HH’s house.
Nawakwi challenged HH to come clean on the Hatembos and also to meet her at Lusaka Central Police station.
6. When she was challenged to report the matter to the police, Nawakwi alleged that she had already done so.

Let us deal with her allegations in a non-emotive and factual manner.
Who is the complainant in the abduction case?
Nawakwi has revealed herself to be the complainant and the key witness.
Further, by her assertion that the police must search Mr Hichilema’s house for the Hatembos, Nawakwi is alleging that she knows their whereabouts.

How do the police search Mr Hichilema’s house?
As a former senior cabinet minister, Nawakwi cannot plead ignorance on the procedure of how search warrants are conducted.

Nawakwi is promoting jungle law that ends up in the slaying of innocent people.
She knows too well that search warrants are processed by the courts of law under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

Section 118 of the CPC provides as follows:
“Where it is proved on oath to a magistrate that, in fact or according to reasonable suspicion, anything upon, by or in respect of which an offence has been committed or anything which is necessary to the conduct of an investigation into any offence is in any building, vessel, carriage, box, receptacle or place, the magistrate may, by warrant (called a search warrant), authorise a police officer or other person therein named to search the building, vessel, carriage, box, receptacle or place (which shall be named or described in the warrant) for any such thing, and, if anything searched for be found, to seize it and carry it before the court of the magistrate issuing the warrant or some other court, to be dealt with according to law”.

The section gives wide instances under which the court can authorise a police officer or any other person for a search to be conducted on suspicion or proof of commission of a crime.

Simply put, Nawakwi knows that she cannot direct the police to conduct a search.
But upon her complaint and, further, on a belief by the police of culpability of a commission of a crime, they can apply to a magistrate’s for issuance of a search warrant.

Nawakwi’s allegation and choice of delivery of such allegations are made to incite people’s emotions which can endanger public peace.
Just imagine what would happen if the perception that the police are not conducting a search on someone who is holding people captive in a known place is entrenched in the masses.
What would stop them from taking matters into their own hands and meting out ‘injustice’ to that person or anyone associated with them?
The bottom line is that actions and words of people who want to lead must be well thought out and intelligently calculated to avoid inciting the public.

Taking evidence to the police
Nawakwi further claimed that she has provided the police with evidence of Mr Hichilema’s culpability in the alleged abduction and, in a way, is wondering why he has not been arrested.
Nawakwi knows the procedure for effecting an arrest as provided for by section 90 of the CPC, which is illustrative.

1. Reporting to the police as she did or
2. Reporting to a magistrate who directs the police to arrest a suspect.
Surely, it is unbelievable that a person of her calibre, runs a political party and has legal advice at her disposal, can ignore these facts.
The question then begs: What is Nawakwi’s motive in playing to the gullible public gallery?

Nawakwi’s words about Tonga chiefs smack of tribalism and she should be called out for that.
The ordinary meaning of the words uttered is that Zambian citizens, including chiefs, support political parties based on tribe.
The fact that Mr Hichilema is Tonga by tribe and Nawakwi states that only Tongas should be arrested automatically associates the Tonga royals or the Tonga-speaking people to his alleged crime.
Nawakwi is also saying that no Namwanga is expected to be linked to the Hatembo disappearance because she, a Namwanga-speaking person, is not linked to their alleged abduction.
By extension, she is saying any chief from the North is also above suspicion because she, a daughter of that soil, is suspicion-free.

These underlying tribal remarks must be condemned in the strongest sense.

They undermine the very fabric of the One Zambia One Nation motto and erode our ubuntu.
We are a nation that was founded on “an injury to one is an injury to all” and history is replete with these examples, including the solidarity offered to Paramount Chief Chitumukulu when his subject, the late President Michael Sata, ostracised him.

Is it a coincidence that Nawakwi’s supposed courageous voice has never been recorded in the annals of history for condemning her fellow politicians and cadres who constantly issue degrading tribal remarks against southerners?

Challenge on HH to come clean and meet her at Lusaka Central Police.

This is baffling and may need more clarity from Nawakwi.
In one breath, she is ordering the police to search Mr Hichilema’s house as she claims to have submitted credible evidence that implicates him.
In the very next breath, she is begging him to show up at the police station on moral grounds so that he can prove his innocence?
Has Namwakwi forgotten that Mr Hichilema does not go to police stations alone?
He is escorted by sympathisers, just like Nawakwi’s brothers are escorted by sympathisers, including chiefs, when they are called for questioning by the Anti-Corruption Commission or when they appear to answer charges in court.
Having drawn this parallel, is Nawakwi blind to the fact that the police she so orders to search Mr Hichilema have been the source of death and much maiming on his sympathisers, which treatment is never extended to her brothers?
What, then, is the motive of begging Mr Hichilema to take himself to the police?
Is it for more lives to be lost?
By the way, we may need guidance if abduction can also be litigated as a civil matter under the realm of tort.
This is another opportunity for her to support the children she alleges to care for in getting justice.

Still on Nawakwi’s challenge for Mr Hichilema to come clean, hasn’t she had some several allegations levelled against her?
Why hasn’t she seen it morally fit to come clean?
The Bible says “do unto others as you would want to be done unto you”.
We shall not catalogue the allegations that keep dogging Nawakwi but some of them include the insinuation that ordinary electricity consumers are charged high tariffs because during her time as finance minister she wanted to please the foreign mine owners during her time and gave them cheap tariffs.
In short, Nawakwi is to blame for the expensive electricity we are paying for.
There are a lot of other allegations extending to the mutilation of the FDD constitution by overstaying her term limit as president of the party.
What about the one doing the rounds that Nawakwi is poised to be appointed running mate to the Patriotic Front (PF)’s presidential candidate hence the mudslinging on Mr Hichilema.

One would expect that with her vast experience, Nawakwi would have learnt that personal attacks or bad-mouthing a political leader is the fastest way to get that person elected in Zambia.

Do we need to say more on this topic?
What happened to the person some news media organisations once demonised as mad and could never rule?
What about the story of one who stole a client’s money and got suspended from a professional body?

Nawakwi should lend credence to causes that impact the majority of society.
Her voice is needed in talking about our medical facilities which have become waiting rooms to the mortuary.
Her voice is needed in speaking for school children who cannot afford university education and there is no money for the loans board to cover every deserving student.
Her voice is needed when the democratic space is shrinking and good governance institutions are betraying the initial spirit of the Garden House meeting where citizens galvanised for a free and democratic country and the rule of law.

The same way Nawakwi has effectively used the constitutional provision of “innocent until proven guilty” on many allegations against her, she must respect other people’s choice to use the same provision.

He who comes before equity must come with clean hands.
Here are the facts:
There is a Supreme Court judgment on how Nawakwi abused her political office by denying a widow an opportunity to buy a house entitled to her as a siting tenant.
Nawakwi has overstayed as FDD president beyond the constitutional provisions of FDD.
Is it not ironic that this is a person who vigorously campaigned against former president Frederick Chiluba’s third term attempt?
Has anyone thought of what kind of a leader Nawakwi would be if she were handed the instruments of power?
Then whom should people run from?
Nawakwi is the person people are supposed to run away from.
Here is one important question.
What is Nawakwi’s interest in stopping Mr Hichilema from being on the ballot?
Is it in the interest of the one million-plus voters who gave Mr Hichilema their trust in the 2016 general elections?
Besides, such statements undermine the integrity of the Election Commission of Zambia as she is suggesting that the electoral body should operate according to her instructions and those of her sponsors.
It is so shameful.
Just as in the case of the burning of markets, gassing of citizens, the killing of Nsama Nsama and Joseph Kaunda, the privatisation of state-owned enterprises, this alleged abduction case is a state-sponsored project to ensure that Mr Hichilema is prevented from being on the ballot in the August 12 general elections.

This campaign has equally reached a dead end and exposed Nawakwi and her chief sponsor Edgar Lungu to be frightened little and wicked people scared of only one person.
Why hate a fellow human being so much that they keep conspiring to exclude him from elections?
The conspiracy theory is yet another failed project.

Madam Nawakwi’s crusade against Hakainde Hichilema does not any way help us as Patriotic Front. Her actions are actually damaging to our aspirations to be retained into office after 12 August elections and the sooner we disassociate ourselves from her mischievous and slanderous campaign against our main rival in this election the better for our party.

We shouldn’t allow a desperate woman’s actions put out party and President’s name in disrepute.


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