Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba
President, MMD


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.


  1. It is the pathetic quality of journalism in Zambia that is the main reason for this. In developed countries, every news media outlet has ‘specialist’ journalists who have an interest in that area of reporting or are themselves qualified in that area. A science editor is a scientist himself etc. Furthermore, they do research about the subject at hand and ask the right people to comment. How often have you heard a professor at a university in Zambia to give an opinion on a subject of his expertise? Politicians dominate the media landscape in Zambia. A politician with a grade 12 certificate is more likely to be sought for an opinion on health matters instead of a professor of Medicine at the university. Chilufya Tayali’s understanding of the law is more likely to air than that of a law professor. This is where we are.

  2. The other major challenge is that everyone now wants to pose as a lawyer, even going to an extent of inciting people to protest especially when Court rulings are not in their favour.

  3. We are a lost nation without good strong values to die for! We are very confused about right and wrong! We can’t even tell our right from left!
    In Zambia, anything goes! We are easy to manipulate because we are not well-grounded in strong values! Look at our fashion industry, a total mess! We don’t make our own clothes any more! We adopt any attire that comes our way. When Americans start walking naked, we want to do the same. Look at the Christian Industry, when one foreign pastor or prophet comes saying “Sheribababa, abrakata bra” everyone joins in the madness. We sometimes have no sense of shame to ask ourselves whether something makes sense or not. We shamelessly copy everything, even wrong things. We are a nation with a serious Identity Crisis! How can such a confused people come up with anything good, let alone a credible Constitution?
    When did we become such a confused lot? When did our Lawyers and Judges become so incoherent about Constitutional matters? Now, if the courts can be so disjointed about straight forward matters like disqualifying an erring candidate who obtains access to public office through violent means, how will the common man be able to make sense of such confusion? In most cases, it’s not the Constitution which is the problem but undercurrents regarding the interpretation thereof!
    The flaws in our valueless cultural system spill over into every aspect of public life.
    Let me give a simple example. If parents don’t discipline their children at home, they should not expect schools to perform miracles because it’s not the job of schools to inculcate values and discipline!
    There is a good reason they say Charity begins at home!
    As Seretse Kharma once said, a Nation without Values is like a tree without roots!

  4. There must be a lacuna in our laws that would call for hailing journalists who deliberately print out unverified falsehoods and ask non professionals in the field to comment. Indeed how many times is Bowman, Chilufya Tayali, Sean Tembo, Saboi, Munir Zulu, called by the media for their options on matters of national importance? Yet level headed persons like Sunday Chanda, that Nalolo MP (from Hamududu’s party) Madam Nyirenda from Lundazi, Shakafuswa, Mtyachalo (Chama), , Mpundu from Nkana, are never sought. I have deliberately left out those from the ruling party as they may not be regarded as not being objective


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