Learning from King Cobra: Sata, Hichilema and the politics of electoral defeat

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV.

There is no better way to win an election than to win an election. For those who win elections, they win elections by winning elections. Those who want to win an election must win an election by winning an election and not winning a court case. In 2006, Michael Chilufya Sata of the Patriotic Front lost that year’s presidential election very terribly. He lost to President Mwanawasa who commanded a comfortable lead all over Zambia except for the urban areas and Bemba-speaking areas. Sata whined a little bit but went to work. In 2008, he lost again. This time to Rupiah Banda. Sata fumed pouncing all over Mulungushi Conference Centre and the Supreme Court grounds. But for some reason, he held himself back and took control of the narrative. He realized his strengths and weaknesses. He saw his losses and found an opportunity. He went to work. That is the behaviour of a winner.

Elias Munshya New

E. Munshya

In 2008, Sata looked at the electoral map. The urban areas of Lusaka and Copperbelt were in his bag, Bemba areas of Northern and Luapula were also in his grasp, but to win the presidency he needed to turn around a non-Bemba area, so he went for a Barotse offensive. The time for the King Cobra to charm the Barotse had come. Right in the heartland of Barotseland, Sata took a message that the Barotse wanted to hear – a message that would honour some aspects of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. From 2008 to 2011, Sata worked on his message. Taking advantage of Rupiah’s Barotse lapses, he collaborated with Inonge Wina and Mubukwanu. And boom! In 2011, Barotseland had given Sata the votes he needed to beat Rupiah. Sata’s Barotse votes were very significant in that he did not just do “well” or do “better” he actually won big and got seats right in the Barotse heartland. That is how you win. You learn from your weaknesses, tweak your message, and go for an electoral offensive.

Come 2016, Hakainde Hichilema has an opportunity to turn his loss into something meaningful. Mr. Hichilema insists that he has won the election, but he has not won anywhere else apart from his strongholds of Southern, Western and Northwestern Provinces. He has no Member of Parliament in Bemba areas, no MPs in the East, and certainly no MP in urban Copperbelt or urban Lusaka. Without MPs in these areas, Mr. Hichilema has failed to replicate the Sata strategy of turning a hostile constituency into a friendly electorate. For Mr. Hakainde to win he did not need to just do well in Bemba and urban areas, he needed to have one or two MPs in those areas. Having MPs does not necessarily correlate with winning the presidential vote, but it is very significant in telling us the trends of where the presidency is leaning. It is nearly impossible for a candidate to win the presidential election without some corresponding increase in the number of Members of Parliament. You cannot win the presidency in Zambia without the good number of MPs being on your side, even if the presidential election is a separate election from that of MP.

While it is true that Lungu’s incumbency may have disadvantaged the opposition, we have a long history in this country where the opposition has beaten the incumbent – in both 1991 and 2011. It is doable. Blaming Lungu’s incumbency is not good strategically, Mr. Hichilema must take some responsibility and do better next time around. He is still young. He does have an opportunity to turn things around and if he stayed on, he could scoop 2021.

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Hakainde Hichilema

Mr. Hichilema’s continued overconfidence is a put-off. I doubt if anyone stole his votes. I will leave that up to the determination of the venerable Constitutional Court. However, to the extent that we provide for the ruling of the Constitutional Court on this matter, we can safely speculate that Mr. Hichilema lost because Mr. Hichilema lost. No one stole his votes. The urban areas have not yet turned away from the Michael Sata “Don’t kubeba” coalition. That coalition is still intact. Consequently, insulting the Michael Sata urban coalition is not a good strategy for the UPND. The “dununa reverse – don’t kubeba” urban coalition needs to be courted not insulted. All these slights springing up in the media about how poor urbanites will continue living in poverty due to their continued support of the PF and Lungu exposes something that the UPND might need to understand about urban politics. Lungu won because he has won hearts of the suffering poor – the very suffering Zambians in our compounds. Unless the UPND figures out why the urban poor are still voting overwhelmingly for Lungu, their relevance will soon fade. The UPND must stop insulting and shaming urban areas and get to work.

Hon.-Edgar-Chagwa-Lungu-took-time-to-officially-open-a-Military-Hospital-in-Ndola-

President Lungu

Mr. Hichilema has an opportunity. For a start, he needs to go to both Luapula and Northern and thank this constituency. He quickly needs to capitalize on the election and cement the officials and structures in these areas, as he will need them for 2021. The more time he spends in Lusaka at his mansion and at court, the more time he loses on cementing the support he needs for 2021. For now, unfortunately, the PF has already seized on the opportunity to tribalize Mr. Hichilema’s 500,000 vote tsunami from Tonga areas. He needs to be in charge of the narrative, but the more time he spends in Lusaka the less likely he is to recast the tsunami. If the tsunami is recast and told by the PF, UPND will lose any hope of getting Luapula and Northern in 2021. The PF could take the tsunami numbers and try to convince Bemba voters that HH tried to capitalize on the Tonga tribal vote (this is of course not true, but Zambian politics is not about the truth, but perceptions). Mr. Hichilema stands a good chance, and I hope he will seize the opportunity.

Eliasmunshya.org Projects that Edgar Lungu wins Zambia’s 2016 Presidential Elections

We made the following assumptions:

  • Some constituencies in Western Province are yet to report. So we are giving HH a 10,000 vote spread for each constituency.
  • Two constituencies are yet to report in Southern Province, we have given HH a 20,000 vote spread for each constituency.
  • Some constituencies in Lusaka have not reported so we have given EL a very conservative vote advantage of about 10,000 for Chawama, he is likely to beat this number.
  • I have separate figures for other candidates, and I have not included them in the above totals. Please provide for at least 50,000 votes for other candidates.

 

  • CAUTION – These numbers are provisional and are not authorized by the Electoral Commission of Zambia. You cannot rely on them.
EL HH
Central
Bwacha – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 5,000
Chisamba – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 7,359 14,638
Chitambo – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 9,765 1,037
Kabwe Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 22,784 11,787
Kapiri Mposhi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 22,509 23,080
Katuba – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 4,031 23,705
Keembe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,000
Lufubu – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,742 1,478
Mkushi North – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 12,821 7,153
Mkushi South – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 5,714 5,040
Muchinga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Mumbwa- http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Mwembeshi- http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,226 17,527
Nangoma – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Serenje- http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
113,951 145,445
Copperbelt
Bwana Mkubwa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,571 7,586
Chifubu – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,260 8,342
Chililabombwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 17,003 10,126
Chimwemwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 21,631 9,740
Chingola – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 18,117 14,981
Kabushi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 22,646 6,906
Kafulafuta – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 4,988 4,979
Kalulushi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 19,587 11,953
Kamfinsa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 15,480 7,350
Kankoyo – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 8,755 4,316
Kantanshi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 14,138 5,175
Kwacha – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 24,582 11,632
Luanshya – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,924 9,263
Lufwanyama – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 5,051 9,273
Masaiti – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 6,421 7,794
Mpongwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 6,677 11,297
Mufulira – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 11,817 5,399
Nchanga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,899 8,568
Ndola Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Nkana – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 18,461 8,692
Roan – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 12,798 6,753
Wusakile – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 18,647 7,776
331,453 177,901
Eastern
Chadiza – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 15,340 4,414
Chama South – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Chasefu – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 17,708 3,641
Chipangali – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 19,284 3,502
Chipata Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 25,857 6,844
Kapoche – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Kasenengwa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Kaumbwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 9,169 1,084
Luangeni – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,168 3,724
Lumezi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,155 2,952
Lundazi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 22,078 4,975
Malambo – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Milanzi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 12,171 2,174
Mkaika – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 17,087 3,530
Msanzala – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 14,321 1,244
Nyimba – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,559 2,818
Petauke Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 23,738 1,999
Sinda – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 9,278 5,020
Vubwi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 6,023 2,238
280,936 50,159
Luapula
Bahati – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 29,456 1,234
Bangweulu – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 24,261 2,396
Chembe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 4,538 996
Chiengi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 13,772 3,760
Chifunabuli – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 18,329 2,189
Chipili – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 11,354 760
Kawambwa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 12,790 1,416
Luapula – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 7,128 1,626
Mambilima – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 8,492 1,735
Mansa Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 23,715 4,589
Milenge – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 76,650 1,576
Mwansabombwe- http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,445 1,931
Mwense – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 13,823 1,915
Nchelenge – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 21,932 5,442
Pambashe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 9,251 1,822
285,936 33,387
Lusaka
Chawama – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Chilanga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 11,735 15,069
Chirundu – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 15,000
Chongwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 17,605 17,571
Feira – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 5,733 2,362
Kabwata – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 22,817 11,659
Kafue – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,914 18,744
Kanyama – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 37,720 32,024
Lusaka Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 30,223 18,259
Mandevu – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 59,239 19,033
Matero – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 57,222 18,388
Munali – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 52,810 27,726
Rufunsa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
322,018 205,835
Muchinga
Chama North – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 13,187 3,803
Chinsali – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 23,085 1,676
Isoka – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 13,567 4,676
Kanchibiya – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,355 1,443
Mafinga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 15,745 4,316
Mfuwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 11,640 929
Mpika Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 18,079 1,741
Nakonde – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 19,963 4,597
Shiwa Ng’andu – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 16,168 1,203
147,789 24,384
Northern
Chilubi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,710 2,416
Chimbamilonga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,927 4,260
Kaputa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 11,152 7,979
Kasama – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 25,321 9,537
Lubansenshi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 12,963 3,300
Lukashya – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 21,017 5,186
Lunte – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,902 2,696
Lupososhi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 17,362 1,879
Malole – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 30,054 4,181
Mbala – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 18,356 3,952
Mporokoso – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,327 4,142
Mpulungu- http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Senga Hill – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 14,191 6,418
223,282 55,946
North-Western
Chavuma – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,235.00 12,065
Ikeleng’I – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 958 12,229
Kabompo – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,070 12,734
Kasempa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,572 19,075
Manyinga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,528 13,583
Mufumbwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,923 17,375
Mwinilunga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,911 33,801
Solwezi Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,167 36,139
Solwezi East – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,533 7,987
Solwezi West – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,067 23,336
Zambezi East – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,587 15,314
Zambezi West – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,587 15,314
27,138 218,952
Southern
Bweengwa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 327 21,316
Chikankata – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,023 20,711
Choma – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 5,016 47,182
Dundumwenzi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 254 30,810
Gwembe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,000
Itezhi-Tezhi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,937 23, 422
Kalomo Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,524 37,350
Katombola – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,410 35,911
Livingstone – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 13,162 27,786
Magoye – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 875 21,918
Mapatizya- http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,000
Mazabuka – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 6,235 31,173
Mbabala – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 20,000
Monze – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,232 39,859
Moomba – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 182 13,429
Namwala – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,251 34,647
Pemba – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 428 25,418
Siavonga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,429 16,952
Sinazongwe – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,666 39,633
39,951 504,095
Western
Kalabo Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 3,058 13,603
Kaoma – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,065 6,259
Liuwa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,776 8,905
Luampa – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,451 9,691
Luena – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Lukulu East – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,768 16,009
Mangango – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,250 9,720
Mitete – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Mongu Central – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 4,271 28,260
Mulobezi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 2,058 7,353
Mwandi – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,703 7,682
Nalikwanda – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,415 9,792
Nalolo – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Nkeyema – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,264 10,768
Senanga – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 1,661 17,929
Sesheke – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Shang’ombo – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Sikongo – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
Sioma – http://www.eliasmunshya.org 10,000
25,740 215,971
TOTAL 1,798,194 1,632,075

 

Elias Munshya New

Elias Munshya

Zambia’s Constitutional Court Ruling on Cabinet Ministers

Zambia’s Constitutional Court Ruling on Cabinet Ministers

Courtesy of our friend Machipisha Mwisho, we now have the Zambian Constitutional Court ruling in the case where petitioners had challenged cabinet ministers’ continued stay in office after parliamentary dissolution.

Please find the ruling below. All you have to do is to download it.

Steven Katuka & LAZ vs AG & Others

On the Elias Munshya Facebook page, I will be going live to discuss the ruling momentarily. The link to the page is https://www.facebook.com/munshyaelias/

Regards,

Elias Munshya

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Elias Munshya, LLM, MBA, M.DIV. – Of the Alberta Bar

Loving the “Other” In Zambia: Towards a praxis of peace in political violence

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV

Our nation is in crisis. We have suddenly realised that we too are a violent nation. The so called oasis of peace, we think we are, has been challenged a great deal by recent events. Zambians known for hospitality made headlines in April, 2016 when they looted shops owned by foreigners. Suddenly, right before our eyes, the myth of peace has given way to a narrative of confusion. A few weeks before the elections, violence has been passing like a song in the night. Not even the Head of State seems to know what to do about it. A citizen was shot by police. Accounts differ about what happened exactly. Some say it was the cadres who got violent, others accuse police of the violence. If Zambia is to return to the peaceful oasis it has been, it must re-examine its own myth making as a nation.

To counter a culture of violence, we must learn to live with the “other”. We call ourselves One Zambia One Nation. This is partly true, but in order to counter the violence, we must interrogate the assumptions that come with this national motto. For Zambians to stay safe and peaceful, their lives must not be predicated on an assumption that they are a homogenous unit. Homogeneity has never been the standard for peace, at least not from the Biblical perspective. Jesus does not want us to think alike, in order for us to live at peace with each other or with the other. As a matter of fact, Jesus brings a revolutionary concept to peace. It is rarely a homogeneity of race, tribe or even nationality. What brings peace from the Christian perspective is the tolerance of diversity, a respect for the foreigner, and a hospitality towards the other.

Zambians are as strong and as weak as any other peoples. Nations at war are not necessarily more evil than we are. Things can easily escalate and we could lose the peace we have always enjoyed. We must begin interrogating our own pride and arrogance that makes us believe that we are somewhat more special than others in the region. Human beings are very evil and sinful. It is important that the Zambian human realises just how base and sinful they can be. We are as wicked as the Rwandans or the South Africans. We are all human after all. If we condemned South African xenophobia, our pointing fingers were greatly embarrassed when in April we did our own xenophobic acts on the Congolese and the Rwandans running shops in Chawama and Mtendere.

Elias Munshya New

Theologian & lawyer

When Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10, it is a revolutionary story that challenges race, nationalism and religion. The story of the Good Samaritan in fact goes further by redefining the way Christians should live with the neighbour or with the “other”. The Samaritans were ostracized by the Jews. And yet, it is the ostracised person in the story who goes to help a Jewish victim of violence. By making the Samaritan become the hero of the story of hospitality towards the Jew, Jesus leaves for us the example we must follow. Tolerance and love become powerful once we exercise it beyond our comforts. Love cannot be love until it is given away. This is the powerful lesson we need to learn in this great country before we give way to violence and become as failed a state as the many African nations that have gone to war.

We do not have to like the other to love the other. We need to love even those we do not like. There is nothing drastic about a PF cadre loving a PF cadre, but it is a great revolutionary act when cadres love each other across party lines and in spite of their political differences. Jesus himself assembled a team of disciples whose political persuasions were antithetical to each other. Among the disciples of Jesus was Matthew the tax collector and presumed collaborator of Roman colonialism. Simon, the Zealot was also one of the disciples of Jesus. Zealots and tax collectors were the worst of enemies. Their politics was at odds but it is remarkable that Jesus brought these two enemies together to become the core group of his incarnational work. In Zambia, we must so transform our politics as to know that after we have done all the politics there is, we must still learn to live with each and tolerate each other just like Matthew and Simon, the zealot learnt from Jesus the grace of tolerance.

We must love the other because we are the other. Homogeneity is important, but it is on its own a very dull construct. In 1991, Zambia did away with a homogenous political party and ideology because we wanted some variety in the daily intercourse of our political conversation. After we have tasted the sweetness of democracy, we must not let political heterogeneity lead to violence and despair. We certainly are going to see things differently. But differences in how see things must not create a chasm that divides the cemented unity of our nation.

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Edgar Lungu

President Lungu has called for prayers. We must pray for our country. But more than that, we need to act very decisively. Prayer without action does not achieve much. Even the book of James encourages us to be doers of the Word. President Lungu must not only model prayer, he must model love and tolerance towards the other. He is president of all and it must hurt him when an innocent citizen gets killed by bullets blurring from government issued rifles. President Lungu can set the tone: the tone of prayer and the tone of tolerance, grace and forgiveness. He must not push responsibility to UPND cadres alone as PF cadres are equally violent. It is time to pray, but it is also time to love the other and to tolerate others even if their politics is repugnant to our nostrils. There should be space for all colours under the Zambian skies.

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Suggested Citation: Munshya, E. (2016). Loving the “Other” In Zambia: Towards a praxis of peace in political violence. Elias Munshya Blog (www.eliasmunshya.org) (July 17, 2016)

Elias Munshya is a theologian and lawyer practising civil litigation, administrative law, and estate law at West End Legal Centre (www.westendlegalcentre.com) in Alberta, Canada. 

Note: A version of this article appeared in the Friday edition of the Zambia Daily Nation Newspaper on July 15, 2016 in the Munshya wa Munshya Column

Towards A Theology of Hospitality: The Referendum and Zambia’s Christian nation declaration

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV

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E. Munshya – theologian and lawyer

Ours should be a theology of hospitality, not arrogance. An evangelical political theology in Zambia must begin reassessing the theory and practice of its Christian faith, particularly as it relates to the relationship between the Church and the state. Zambia is not a church; it is a liberal republic. We cannot run Zambia is if it were a church. Zambia is not a congregation and Lungu is not its priest or prophet. Jesus is no more king over Zambia, than he is king over Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Jesus is the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. We do not need to enthrone him, for him to be king. The fact that we have declared ourselves a Christian nation, has led to a theology of arrogance that lacks the hospitality spirit of our Lord. We are an overindulged lot and it is only after we have reassessed our spoiled theology that we can return to a more balanced approach of the faith as it relates to our republic. There is nothing wrong with our profession of the Christian faith, there is everything wrong if we create an intercourse of the church and state to a level where we fail to distinguish one from the other. Nothing has led to our lack of theological hospitality more than the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation, particularly after it was enshrined in the constitution of Zambia in 1996.

The Church of Jesus in Zambia, does not need the aid of the state to flourish. Jesus is building his church even in the most repressive regimes such as China. The church is growing the fastest in communist China than it is in Zambia further pouring scorn on our evangelical nationalism fueled by American political theology more than the simple hospitality of Jesus of Nazareth.

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President Edgar Lungu

Zambia will be going to a referendum on August 11, 2016 to entrench the Bill of Rights into our constitution. There is a section of our evangelical brothers and sisters who feel that the Bill of Rights is somehow anti-Jesus and would lead to Christian depravation. The Bill of Rights in its draft form guarantees every citizen of Zambia the right to belong to any religion of their choice. The Bill of Rights will guarantee that the state respect citizens’ freedom of conscience. If we are to do away with a theology of arrogance, we must first define what the Bill of Rights is all about. The Bill of Rights is not a statement of faith. It is not a religious text. It is a document that explains the limits of state action as far as the rights of citizens are concerned. The Bill of Rights proscribes the state from imposing upon citizens a particular doctrine or faith. It protects citizens from the power of the state’s bullets and guns. Zambian Christians will be better protected if the state is proscribed from imposing its faith upon citizens. The logic is simple: A Christian government today, may cease to be a Christian government tomorrow. If the church has been enjoying good treats because of a government’s faith, then the church will disintegrate if that government loses power.

Evangelicals need a prophetic distance from state favour by refusing to eat from Caesar’s table as a way of insulating itself from trouble. Government must provide an enabling environment of freedom and let Christianity compete in an atmosphere of liberty without coercion.

The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation is a powerful statement of intent and faith. It is what we as a nation have declared ourselves to be. That being the case, we make a huge mistake if we think that the declaration has somewhat given Christians reliable rights over non-Christian citizens. As a Zambian Christian, I do not have more human rights than a non-Christian. As a Christian, I am not a first class citizen over a non-Christian. As we debate the Bill of Rights, let us be very clear that we are debating a bill for all citizens and not just Christian citizens. A theology of hospitality will help evangelicals to treat non-Christian citizens of Zambia as equals with full rights of citizenship.

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Frederick Jacob Titus CHILUBA

Without a theology of hospitality, Zambian evangelicals would lack a transnational prophetism. Ours would be a nationalist prophetism. A nationalist prophetism looks no further than a respective nation. It is self-centred and views Christianity as a means of temporal and political power. Nationalist prophetism is seen from evangelicals in countries such as the United States. Transnational prophetism on the other hand is outward looking. It looks at the Christian faith as a faith that goes beyond national government to encompass believers across the world. Transnational prophetism is not convinced simply by intra-national Christian domination, but a trans-national hospitality towards the “other”. Let us take Nigeria as an example. Nigerian preachers and Nigerian Christians will do anything in their power to keep Nigeria a secular state and would do everything to have a Bill of Rights similar to the one we will be voting on during the referendum. They want to keep the Nigerian state from interfering in religious liberty of Nigerians. They want the Nigerian state to guarantee every citizen the liberty to follow their faith and for faiths to freely propagate.

In Zambia, on the other hand, it seems Zambian evangelicals take it for granted that the state must somehow aid them in their crusades and evangelism. Even when the state favours us, Zambian evangelicals must live their faith as if they have no favour from the state and must act as if the state is not their friend. Zambian evangelicals must be faithful citizens of their country, but they must not give into the illusion that they need state favour to exist.

The work of evangelism must continue, and the best way to continue with the work of evangelism is if Christians had the freedom to spread their faith in a country which guarantees religious liberty to all. I hope all citizens in Zambia will vote yes for the Bill of Rights.

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Suggested Citation: Munshya, E. (2016). Towards A Theology of Hospitality: The Referendum and Zambia’s Christian nation declaration. Elias Munshya Blog. (www.eliasmunshya.org) July 7, 2016

 

A New Legal Tradition: Commentary on the rules of Zambia’s Constitutional Court

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, M.DIV.

On May 27, 2016, Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa, the Deputy Chief Justice of Zambia and acting Chief Justice signed Statutory Instrument No. 37 of 2016 promulgating the rules of the Constitutional Court (C Court). It takes more than a Colosseum of judges to create a court system. Operationalisation of the Court simply means one thing: The Court can now begin its sittings as it now has the rules and the infrastructure to do so. I provide a commentary on the rules using a question and answer format.

What are Rules of the Constitutional Court?

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Supreme Court of Zambia

In general terms, there are two elements to any court system: substantive law and procedural law. Substantive law concerns the law as it is and includes subjects such as criminal law, securities law, corporate law and estate law. Substantive law is the “what” of the law. Procedural law on the other hand is about procedures and rules of how parties and the court can best deal with legal disputes. Good legal practice does not subsist in the knowledge of substantive law alone, but in the knowledge of the nuances of rules of procedure. A court needs some form of order of how people can approach it and what forms, if any they can use. It would be unimaginable, for example, for people to just show up before a judge and tell her whatever grievances they have. It is the rules of court that explain how a petitioner can bring matters before a judge: first fill out a form, write down what you want, take it to the registry, swear that what you have written is true, and have the court officials schedule a date for you to appear before a judge. It is the rules that would appropriately explain the how and where of any legal process. In law, the what of the law is as important as the how and the when!

If the Constitutional Court ranks equivalently to the Supreme Court, why is Justice Mwanamwambwa signing the Statutory Instrument operationalising the Constitutional Court?

According to Zambia’s constitution, the C Court ranks equivalently to the S Court, and the respective heads of the C Court and S Court rank equivalently as well. However, the Chief Justice of Zambia remains the head of the judicial branch of government. In that capacity, as the head of the judiciary, the Chief Justice is administratively superior to the president of the Constitutional Court. It is in this capacity as acting head of the judiciary that Justice Mwanamwambwa promulgated rules of the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is a new court and there will be birth pangs and perhaps a little clash between two of our highest courts. However, knowing the maturity and candor of the judges of both of our highest courts, I am very positive that any clashes will be handled with the greatest civility that has come to define the greatness of our nation and the stellar reputation of our judges.

Are Constitutional Court Rules similar to other Rules of Zambian courts?

Zambia, as a common law country, relies heavily upon court rules and legal procedures from England and Wales. So much for our pride of political independence. The rules of the C Court acknowledge the role of English legal procedure and provides that the Rules of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales would apply on any question that is not addressed in the rules promulgated under the hand of Deputy Chief Justice Mwanamwambwa. Both the High Court and the Supreme Court rules currently in force are surrogates of English rules.

What is so remarkable about these new rules?

Elias Munshya New

E. Munshya of the Alberta Bar

The rules of the Constitutional Court are quite modern and take into account how business should be done in the age of the internet. The rules take into account information technology and modern devices. However, they go into too much detail about the technology that could be obsolete within a year or two. The rules could have done well to recognise the role of modern information technology without the need to actually specify the technology. Technology seems to change as quickly as we are blinking and the law will always have to play catch up. The recognition of e-filing, and scanning, and serving documents electronically is a very positive move and the Zambian judiciary must be commended for this modernization. Technology is expensive and it is my hope that the judiciary will have enough financial resources to implement its drive towards technology. In terms of modern technology, the rules ignore important aspects of modern technology: websites and blogs. While it goes on about books being relevant and admissible in court, the rules are silent about the relevance of blogs and internet sites. If books are valuable, a court that wants to recognise information technology should equally recognise the value of blogs such as eliasmunshya.com which is dedicated to academic discussion of both law and culture. Just for its recognition of information technology, the Rules should be commended. It is a great start.

 

Are the Rules easy to understand?

I think they are quite easy to comprehend. I like the simple language used in the Rules. A few ambiguous paragraphs exist here and there, but in general terms, I like the language of the rules. It will take some time though for both lawyers and laypeople alike to get used to the Rules. But they provide a very robust new beginning for our Constitutional Court. I would not recommend that citizens attempt to navigate through the legal and constitutional system on their own. It is always a good idea to enlist the help of a member of the Zambian Bar. Few as they seem to be, Zambian legal practitioners are committed to representing constitutional litigants and I have no doubt that they will help in the herald of this new legal dispensation.

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Citation: Munshya, E. (2016). A New Legal Tradition: Commentary on the rules of Zambia’s Constitutional Court. Elias Munshya Blog. (www.eliasmunshya.org). July 3, 2016

Splitting Regulation from Fraternity: Reforming the Law Association of Zambia

By E. Munshya LLM, MBA, MDIV 

The functions and objects of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) are very important in our system of law, government and politics. LAZ’s mandate is primarily derived from two statutes: The Law Association of Zambia Act and the Legal Practitioners Act. Under the LAZ Act, LAZ’s objectives can be broadly divided into the following:

  1. lawyer regulation, training and development;
  2. socio-lego-political engagement; and
  3. fraternal fellowship for lawyers.

LAZ’s regulatory objects are principally carried out through both the Legal Practitioners Committee and the Disciplinary Committee. The socio-political engagement is fulfilled by LAZ’s active socio-political engagement and lobbying on matters of legal importance. LAZ has been active in the advocacy for a new constitution and through this statutory mandate it was a very worthy and influential member of both the OASIS Forum and the Grand Coalition, two important lobby groups that advocated for a new constitution in Zambia. As a fraternal organisation for lawyers, LAZ advocates for camaraderie, self-care and represents lawyer interests before the government and the society. From 1973 to the present, LAZ has played a huge role not only in the legal development, but also in the socio-political engagement and thought. Particularly, from the advent of plural politics in 1990, LAZ has been at the forefront advocating for democratic change and reform. These are positively praiseworthy achievements.

In spite of all these obvious strengths, however, LAZ as it currently stands represents an untenable model that needs urgent reform. The model under which LAZ currently operates is no longer suitable for a bourgeoning democracy like ours. In all fairness, there is a need to reform it to make it more responsive to the needs of the public while at the same time maintaining both public and governmental confidence in an association that regulates legal practitioners. Particular areas of concern with the current LAZ legislative regime concerns its seemingly conflicting roles as a legal/lawyer regulator while at the same time serving as a fraternal organisation for the same lawyers. LAZ needs to be reformed by splitting the regulatory function (Legal Practitioners, Disciplinary, Education committees) from the fraternal and socio-political function (LAZ-at-large).

Elias Munshya New

Elias Munshya (of the Alberta Bar)

Recent concerns over LAZ’s opinions and advisories are quite justifiable particularly when LAZ advisories do not represent views held by a good number of its members. Some positions taken by LAZ have even been held to be wrong by the Supreme Court of Zambia. This is not a good position to be in for a regulator of lawyers. The regulator of lawyers in Zambia should appear to be above board and should only go to court when the regulatory side of legal practitioners is at stake. The regulator should not go to court to argue about how much tax a person owes or does not owe. Recently, LAZ president Linda Kasonde issued some statements concerning Mr. Fred M’membe’s The Post tax problems with the Zambia Revenue Authority. LAZ members are reluctant to come out in the open to provide alternative understanding of issues to their organisation because LAZ is both their fraternal organisation and their regulator at the same time. The result is that LAZ members might feel muzzled and the LAZ senior leaders might get a pass by issuing statements under the cover of statutory protection even when their members believe otherwise. However, once regulatory functions are split from the fraternal functions, the regulatory side of LAZ can be run by an independent body that will concentrate on training, disciplining and regulating lawyers without having the pressure of the burdens and expectations that come from socio-political engagement (such as tax issues). The fraternal side of LAZ can continue and can encourage its members to participate, to criticize and to reach some consensus as the association participates in the socio-political destiny of the country.

This proposal is not by any means unusual. Currently, the Legal Practitioners Committee (LPC) is an influential committee within LAZ, tasked with lawyer regulation. All that is needed in my proposal is to delink this committee from the main LAZ body and give it statutory powers of its own to regulate and discipline lawyers away from the glare of socio-political interference. If the LPC were to be delinked, it would have its own management and it could comprise of members appointed or elected by legal practitioners themselves.

Once the LPC is delinked, LAZ can then concentrate its efforts into being the fraternal body that freely engages in the world of ideas. Such a new LAZ can criticise and be criticized without practitioners fearing for their lives. Additionally, such a LAZ can go to court and lobby for socio-political positions without associating those positions to the regulators.

The model I have proposed above seems to comport with modern legal arrangements in England and Wales and other commonwealth jurisdictions. Very rarely do regulators make news commenting on socio-political issues. This role is left to other fraternal legal organisations and associations of lawyers as the regulators concentrate on the actual regulation of lawyers. In Zambia’s sister jurisdictions such as Canada, as an example, lawyers are regulated by the respective provincial law societies while the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) remains a fraternal organisation of lawyers based on mutual and voluntary membership. In the United States, most jurisdictions have a similar arrangement. The American Bar Association (ABA) is a fraternal organisation whereas each state has its own bar regulators. Both the CBA for Canada and ABA for the USA freely comment on socio-political issues, lobby on behalf of lawyers, present and recommend training for lawyers, and provide a fellowship of some kind for lawyers. In South Africa lawyers also have a voluntary fraternal organisation while the regulatory side is handled by a different body depending on the province.

Such arrangements would be much more suitable for Zambia as well. In our democracy, it becomes necessary to split regulatory and fraternity functions of the Law Association of Zambia.

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Suggested Citation: Munshya, E. (2016). Splitting Regulation from Fraternity: Reforming the Law Association of Zambia. Elias Munshya Blog. (www.eliasmunshya.org) June 30, 2016