Martha Mushipe, UPND Lawyer Arrested. Is Zambia Still A Democracy?

Martha Mushipe, UPND Lawyer Arrested. Is Zambia Still A Democracy?

For a country that boasts of being in a state of solid democracy, Zambia’s recent moves are certainly to be questioned.

The elections are over but the battle of the thrown is still on.

Police Deputy Spokesperson Esther Katongo has confirmed the arrest of UPND lawyer, Martha Mushipe, for the offence which was Contrary to section 57 ( 1 ) (c) (d) and (2) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that on unconfirmed dates between 1st July, 2015 and 11th April, 2016, Martha Mushipe with unidentified colleagues had in their midst, Seditious materials without lawful excuse.

The accused is set to appear in Court for mention.

However, many Zambians have questioned the moves of the state because it is apparent that “they” are trying to silence the mouths that dare oppose them.

“The law is being applied to the opposition only. Those supporting the govt are safe. E.g. Max Chongo, ECZ hacker, a cop who killed a UPND cadre etc. Have these people been arrested? It’s quiet! Really unfair,” wrote Moses Mwanza.

Many have however, praised Martha Mushipe for her fight for justice during the August 2016 presidential elections when she spoke out about the inaccuracies of the political figures, which were not adding up.

“Martha Mushipe is my hero. In Zambia docility is so enshrined in our culture and even sometimes seen as a duty. We foolishly say things like “Boma ni boma” , “Bwana” not realizing the dangerous inferiority complex we are imposing on ourselves. Martha Mushipa’s only crime was to demand transparency from ECZ and justice from Concourt. But people with docile mentality think she was rude. Since when did rudeness become a crime? Being rude is disrespecting people who don’t deserve it. In her case ECZ and Concourt didnt deserve any respect as they where misbehaving right in front of our eyes, which was stupidity that required to be rebuked. Even Jesus rebuked authorities when they were in the wrong,” wrote Richard Waga.

Is this a move by Zambian government to silence those who speak out against them? Is Zambia still in a state of democracy?

The speculation about the seemingly unfair administration of justice is justifiable to some degree especially when only those from one camp are receiving heavy punches.

To start with, one might wonder why the police has suddenly waken up only to realize that Martha Mushipe needed to be arrested. No matter how genuine the case may be, the fact that Mushipe like Dr Mumba where on the front line supporting UPND and HH raises suspicions as to whether this PF government is behind these arrests to persecute the opposition.

There are cases, which the public expects to see a fare reaction from the police and the judicial systems, for example some alleged shootings by some PF loyalists, the man caught at the totaling center and the allegations raised against Given Lubinda by Chilufya Tayali. In all these and other cases, it seems as though the state is shielding them.

If the above is true, where is justice then when the law only applies to those from the opposition? To be fair, the law should be applied without fear or favor.