By Chris Zumani Zimba
In this article, I want us to reflect and meditate on two important quotations from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a globally renowned Indian activist, freedom fighter and statesman who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule and successfully led India to independence by employing nonviolent civil disobedience which have inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
….“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”…
….“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer”….
Two weeks ago, the Zambian Republican President, Mr. Edgar Lungu made a rare mark of true statesmanship at national and regional level when he directed Justice Minister, Hon. Given Lubinda to officially invite the International Criminal Court (ICC), Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) to come in and to Zambia at their convenience and independently probe political allegations by the United Party for National Development (UPND) led Opposition Alliance that himself as president and some of his political aides are directly funding a militia group which is at the center of spinning political violence, bloodshed, ‘assassinations’ with the possibility of causing political instability and national civil unrest.
While stressing that the Zambian opposition will not be entertained at the Hague as they have not familiarize themselves with the Rome Statue which establishes the ICC, Presidential and State House spokesperson, Mr. Amos Chanda revealed to the media two weeks ago that Mr. Lubinda is under instruction from President Lungu to invite the ICC, Amnesty International and UNHRC as the allegations were serious, needed formal government response and that the Zambian leader has nothing to fear or worry from the false claims by the opposition.
In a press briefing three week ago in Lusaka, the United Party for National Development (UPND) led alliance of opposition political parties announced that it is taking Zambia’s President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and some of his aides to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for attempting to kill Mr. Hakainde Hichilema (HH) during the Sesheke parliamentary bye elections. While freely taking self-pictures and video coverage with ‘sponsored’ Prime TV reporters, HH and some of followers reported that an estimated 1,000 rounds of ammunition were fired on that material afternoon by Lungu’s state House Police officers in an attempt to assassinate him, a story that has widely been laughed at and deemed ‘cheating political death without shame’ or ‘vain political acting in the Sesheke jungle’.
The UPND led alliance informed the Zambians that they have taken the decision to report specific individuals to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, for orchestrating, perpetrating, facilitating, funding and executing a well-planned wave of political violence across the country, whish violence risks the peace and security of this nation. These individuals include the following: (i) Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu – President of the Republic of Zambia; (ii) Mr. Stephen Kampyongo – Minister of Home Affairs; (iii) Mr. Davis Mwila – PF Secretary General; (iv) Mr. Kaizer Zulu – Special Assistant to the President for Politics; (v) Mr. Amos Chanda – Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations; (vi) Mr. Francis Muchemwa (aka America 2) – PF Cadre; (vii) Mr. Mpange Kachingwe – PF Cadre; (viii) Abel Mwale – PF Cadre; and (ix) Eddie Gowa – PF Cadre.
However, it is imperative to stress that President Lungu has set a rare positive legacy of true statesmanship and respect for the rules of global governance both in Zambia, within SADC and in Africa in general as a sitting president to invite the ICC into his country to specifically come and independently investigate himself as sitting Head of State and Government as well as his top advisers against the claims that are being peddles by his political rivals. It simply demonstrates the fact that President Lungu respect the principles of rule of law at national sovereign level; believes in democratic and accountable leadership; advances the values of good governance as well as full adherence to the legal framework of the international justice system. By voluntarily inviting ICC and UNHRC to investigate Zambia, it also means that President Lungu respects Zambia’s diplomatic obligations to regional and international treaties and bodies as the SADC state is a ratified party to the Rome Statute which established the ICC in 2001. This is both commendable and progressive political chapter for Zambia in particular and Africa in general.
From the time the court was established 18years ago, there is no single sitting President in this sub region or Africa at large that has freely and openly invited the ICC to investigate him or his government as the Hague based court has repeatedly be criticized for being biased against Africans as well as a Whiteman’s court against non-Westerners. To date, the ICC is either unwanted institution or unpopular court in many African countries such as Kenya, Sudan or Gambia for merely shortlisting their respective Heads of State and Government for either crimes against humanity, genocide or war crimes. By its statute, the core mandate of the ICC is to act as a court of last resort with the capacity to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national jurisdictions for any reason are unable or unwilling to do so.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher and Consultant. Besides being the CEO and Managing Consultant at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Radio, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:20hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments. Chriszumanizimba.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; +260 973 153 815