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Saturday, 20 March 2010

A banana republic...

The Ndola magistrate court yesterday sentenced a 35-year-old man to 18 months in prison with hard labour for defaming President Banda. This is a matter in which Darius Mukuka was charged with defamation of the president. Facts of the case are that Mukuka, on March 22 last year, with intent to bring the name of the president in ridicule, said: “Uyu….finshi alelanda, alebepa abantu nafilwa ukuteka icalo.” (Bemba for ‘what is this fool saying, he has failed to govern the country and should not be lying to the people.’) [via Times of Zambia]
This is what happens when you have "banana laws" on the statute books. I always encourage Zambians to read the legislation.We have so many poor laws, which in truth leaves many judges with little option. Until these laws are changed Zambia's image will continue to suffer as we found out with the Chansa Kabwela incident, not to mention the on-going Mpombo cheque saga.  What is equally sad about this story is that the man could not get proper legal representation (no legal aid perhaps). A lawyer attending  another case at the time felt sorry for him and intervened on his behalf.  We have an adversarial system of justice that is heavily in favour of the state. So much for justice...

5 comments:

  1. “Uyu….finshi alelanda, alebepa abantu nafilwa ukuteka icalo.” (Bemba for ‘what is this fool saying, he has failed to govern the country and should not be lying to the people.’)

    Nothing anyone hasn't said online and dare I say, in much stronger terms. :)

    Now if Darius Mukuka from Zambia had been Jestina Mukoko from Zimbabwe, we wouldn't hear the end of it.

    For what it's worth, I've already e-mailed Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and a few other organisations. Perhaps with the proper pressure from donors...

    It would actually improve the President's reputation if he extended a presidential pardon or equivalent to Darius Mukuka.

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  2. It would appear that RB has indeed pardoned Darius Mukuka.

    The story can be found on Lusaka Times
    http://www.lusakatimes.com/?p=26432

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lol!

    With crowded prisons, we probably need to empty half our jails!

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  4. Chola, mayhaps he's making room for Katele et al? Oh snap...

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  5. I can't see Katele staying in prison. Chiluba's wife was sent there and she came out with more appeals. I think Rev Nyirongo is also out pending more appeals.

    ReplyDelete

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