THE HIGH COURT, CONSTITUTIONAL COURT AND RULINGS….
Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba
During our protracted battle in court as the MMD, we noticed a very strange phenomenon as regards Court Rulings and their announcements especially over social media platforms. We came to understand that the owners and the sponsors of some social media platforms may have an interest in which Rulings and which version of the rulings they publish. Sometimes, we would be surprised how a ruling that went one way, would be twisted and changed in the press as meaning something completely different. This happened not once, but many times.
We have noted that this has been the case lately in the public lexicon as regards the back and forth rulings regarding some key Legal cases that are in public domain, especially those that stand at the centre of the highly polarised political front. It is interesting to note how Legal Counsels representing the ruling party and the state, on the one hand, and the petitioning parties on the other, are competing to issue divergent versions and meanings of Court Rulings on their supportive Social Media Platforms, to the detriment of public discourse and Interest. This has had an effect of confusing the masses and as one Judge put it, of adding more confusion to the confusion.
The following is, therefore, our unsolicited advice:
Let us not solely depend on social media as an authentic source of information on Court Rulings.
Desperation, hate and sometimes down right criminality drives some versions of the social media stories. It’s advisable to patiently wait or verify these stories from the institutions so authorized to release official announcements or rulings.
No matter how sensational or romantic the story is, we must wait for authentication by bodies charged with authority to release such information.
Again we say, WAIT.
We will save ourselves from unnecessary heart aches and sometimes attacks.