By Mwape Mbwelela
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is not being honest over the issue of Zambia withdrawing from or remaining a member of the International Criminal Court, says Sketchley Sacika.
In an interview yesterday, Sacika, a former secretary to cabinet, said if President Lungu had made a commitment to pull Zambia out of the ICC at the African Union, Zambians should emphatically reject the idea.
He said it was unfortunate that President Lungu was allowing events to manage him instead of him managing them.
Sacika said President Lungu was not being honest with Zambia over the issues surrounding the sudden urge to withdraw from the (ICC).
“I think President Lungu is not being sincere to the people of Zambia over the ICC issue. Mumbi Phiri, the deputy secretary general of PF, was reported to have told the press that her party, the PF, was against the idea of pulling out of the ICC. The PF is the government of the day so why would they spend so much money on a project they do not believe in?” Sacika wondered. “My assessment of this situation is that President Lungu must have made a commitment he did not believe in at the AU so he is now trying to find an excuse using our tax payers money and the people of Zambia to extricate himself from that commitment.”
Minister of Justice Given Lubinda announced that K2 million had been allocated for the process, which would be conducted in 30 districts across the country.
But Sacika said it was clear that the ongoing consultation would show that Zambians wanted the country to continue to be bound by ICC protocols.
He noted that the African Union had become a laughing stock as it had come under the influence of dictators and criminals.
“The AU’s predecessor, the OAU, facilitated the de-colonisation of Africa, thanks to our own KK (Kenneth Kaunda) and the likes of Kwame Nkrumah but the AU is failing to consolidate the gains of democracy and good governance in Africa. The AU is looking on as African countries come under the spell of African dictators,” Sacika said.
He said African dictators had plundered the continent’s resources while the AU watched.
Sacika said leaving the ICC was not an option hence urged Zambians to rejected the idea.
“Dictators who kill their own people in order to remain in power must face the music at the ICC when time comes,” Sacika said. “Our President, Mr Lungu, should show leadership. At present he seems to be drifting aimlessly; instead of managing events, he is allowing events to manage him. This is not good for a political leader. As far as I can see, there is no choice for Zambia. Our future as a viable State lies in developing a truly democratic country based on constitutionalism and rule of law.”
He said Zambia must be a developed constitutional, democratic state that survives on diversity of political views. Sacika explained that Zambia had no choice but to walk in the direction a democratic entity that past presidents’ built.