Opinion

Opinion: Insults, Politics And Law

By Dickson Jere

What a coincidence!

I was just finalizing my thesis on seditious laws in Zambia, which also touched on the archaic law of defamation of the President. Then bang! A student has been arrested for defaming the President. In my thesis, I endeavored to trace the historical background of these laws that found themselves in our Penal Code. For every intent and purposes, these “insult” laws have become moribund worldwide and represents the old-school of thought – that a King cannot err! That the crown is infallible!

The long and short of it is that even countries that gave birth to these laws like Britain and Australia, have now completely abandoned them as they are no longer justifiable in a democratic state and at most against the principles of human rights. In my literature review, I tracked the genesis of these laws to the Statute of Westminster of 1275 and the Star Chamber cases of 1606 involving De Libellis Famosis in the U.K. The reasoning was that the monarchy was divine and therefore cannot be subjected to public ridicule. This is why it is still a criminal offense in Zambia to insult the Queen! Did you know that?

But then, the police needs to reflect on this.
I do not think the President would tolerate the arrest of a citizen for having called him names. He has been scandalized in worse terms before and never ever resorted to taking legal action even in civil jurisdiction. That has been his strength all along. In any case, what would one achieve by such act? Disgruntled people and rogues will always insult. Just check on how US President Donald Trump get insulted on his own tweeter. He has been caricatured as a pig and called unprintable stuff. It comes with the territory!

This reminds me of my time in State House. The police had arrested and successfully prosecuted a Ndola man, Darius Mukuka, who had insulted President Rupiah Banda. All this happened without our knowledge. And so when the President read in the newspaper that a man was jailed for having insulted him in a bar, he was furious!
“Why should someone be sent to jail for insulting me? If he can’t insult me, who else will he insult?” the President asked before he ordered the immediate release from jail. And a directive was given to the police that people should never be arrested for such. With hindsight, we should have gone further and amended the law.

In brief, the police, most times, are just overzealous.
These laws, which we call “insult laws” have now fallen into disuse worldwide. And so no need to give Zambia a bad name on such straight-forward issues. If someone has been defamed, best available option is to sue in a civil case! You cannot imprison thoughts. Thoughts are free! Wonder why BBC is running the student story on Zambia continuously?

By the way, I do not think President Edgar Lungu supports such. I say so because when I served as MISA-Zambia President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Esquire, who was then rejoicing under the name and style of Andrea Masiye and Company, was among the lawyers that we retained to fight the abuse of “insult laws” in Zambia. And he was passionate about it. And I believe he still shares that passion. Seditious and criminal libel laws like defamation of the President are things of the past worldwide. And in my thesis, I recommend for the thorough repeal of these laws!

It is global after all!
And so parliament must take heed.
Repeal insult laws!

20 Comments

  1. Shawn

    The difference between Edgar and rupiah is one is a dictator and one was a democratic president. Fuck Edgar come and arrest me as well motherfucker.

    • Wise Me

      When you think about it God is the only one who will punish sinners. Remove all these man made laws that have seen millions of people languishing in jails leaving their loved ones and dependents outside. That’s the reason God will soon destroy the world that lives in falsehoods and hate. In a Christian World the Greatest Law is to love God and other people with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Insulting is not love even those supporting it don’t love. Apart from it being disrespectful and being painful to the individual and their associates. However let them carry their own Cross for vengeance is God’s. By the way if this student has grown up that way, he should be scarred for the sinful world revenges by nailing. If he he hadn’t that’s the beginning. All of you repent for God’s judgment and everlasting pain for sinners is near.

  2. Last Ngoni

    Dick you are a man.

  3. One Stone Diamond

    Jere, panyo pako, icinyo mumatako. Mapolo bako. How does that feel and settle with your thesis? We imagine your children are reading this: does it sound good to you? This, we should not encourage. Now, that boy insulted the senior officer in public service, are you still saying we should gloryfy such? No ways.

    • Sir Jeff Geoffrey

      Let’s not urge stupidity in our country! Laws must be straight forward. It’s not right for have rights that are not right

    • Sir Jeff Geoffrey

      Let’s not urge stupidity in our country! Laws must be straight forward. It’s not right for us to have rights that are not right

  4. Kabulungo

    THE CONSTITUTION SHOULD ALSO BE CONTEXTUALIZED. SUPPOSED SOMEONE SAYS “BANOKO ICINYO OR TOMBA NOKO” ARE WE GOING TO SAY IT IS NORMAL AND NOT WRONG BECAUSE UT IS ACCEPTABLE IN ENGLAND. I SEEK TO DIFFER WITH YOU MR JERE. THE LAW IS MEANT TO MANTAIN MORALITY IN THE SOCITY.

  5. medhone

    it is for this reason, we see ,today in our comunities ,old people ar not respected.some of these thesis ar desined to divide our comunities so that a certain group of individuals gets somewhere and rule de world at large.jesus wil not sit an watch

  6. muhone

    it is for this reason, we see ,today in our comunities ,old people ar not respected.some of these thesis ar desined to divide our comunities so that a certain group of individuals gets somewhere and rule de world at large.jesus wil not sit an watch

  7. chitamawe

    Morals shud b upheld. No 2 Here’s thesis.

  8. Vincent Makkaba

    He is a job seeker.when others are being expelled.

  9. Mark

    It’s very sad that some people encourage insults

  10. ce

    i do not agree with you bwana jere, try one day go to USA or BRITAIN and insult any of their leaders and see whether you receive their smiles, in the same way as they come here they do not insult our leaders, it is morally wrong to insult people, your teachings bwana jere are bent on moral degradation to say the least, God Help Us!!

  11. joe

    Pf is chipatepapate party. their are IDOITS, together with jemason

  12. Mpombo

    In your wisdom you want to lump western culture & ours just to be called educated next you’ll be promoting homosexuality in our country.What is good for UK & US may not be good for Zambia.These countries have killed people both militarily & Economically Worldwide can we go the same path just to be labelled modern!

  13. Simeo G Musonda

    Totally concur with the author of the article.Insult Laws just be Repealed in Zambia.
    Our country must move with time by updating its laws.
    We are at our best when we learn from history and contemporary events.
    It is unfortunate that some people in Zambia are impervious to learn from history , human rights violations and undemocratic propensities.
    Zambia today, is not part to the UN Convention against TORTURE. The Zambian Human Rights Commission has decried that lack enabling Legislation, hampers bringing to book perpetrators of torture in Zambia. After more than fifty years of independence the Anti-torture Bill iis in its Draft form.
    Meanwhile, the Zambian intelligence also infamously known as the Office of the President (OP), has taken advantage of committing atrocities and heinous crimes against innocent people.
    The OP has an hidden agenda of ultimately taking over power in Zambia, just like has happened and still happening in Turkey, Egypt, Syria and other countries where their intelligence exert undue influence on their governments.
    OP has undue influence on me political leadership and government in Zambia. It wields more power than the Head of State; It has a Track record of influencing all election results in Zambia; It is the self appointed ELECTORAL COLLEGE in Zambia – on behalf of the Electorate, and against popular vote, it chooses who should be President in Zambia and who should be in Strategic Ministries and government – all in keeping with its hidden agenda.The OP is the appointing authority in Zambia. Consequently, the presidency and electorate in Zambia is virtually held to ransom by OP.
    Democracy is being undermined by OP in Zambia. Recount of the election results of 2001, 2015 and 2016 would have confirmed the real winner.
    The OP, with its hidden agenda and steeped in the OCCULT, it is the biggest threat to: Democracy and Human Rights,Justice – Rule of Law and Due Process; the Health and Tenure of office of Presidents in Zambia ; Freedoms and lives of people, including Foreign Nationals and Dignitaries Accredited to Zambia; and National Security.
    Under the sway of OP , Zambia has become a land of Torture and Death – Political Assassinations, Gross Human Rights Violations, Impunity , Terror and Fear.
    Anyone, including presidents, who interferes with or is considered to be a stumbling block to OP’s hidden agenda, becomes an Enemy of the State (OP is a State within a state), tagged as a Targeted Individual (TI)destined for torture and permanent elimination.
    OP’s weapons of choice against TIs, include: Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)Devices – that emit painful, torturous and deadly RADIATION – causing CANCER, PARALYSIS, IMPOTENCE, INSANITY and DEATH; Biological weapons – POISONS; Chemical weapons – Toxic Gasses and Psychological weapons; Planned Air and Road traffic ACCIDENTS; Divide and Rule – Antagonizing people; etc
    Some TIs have died knowing that they were victims of OP. These include: Late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe who was brutally beaten by a mob and mercilessly tortured to death by OP; Late Mazoka was robbed of the Presidency and before his untimely death he decried that he had been Poisoned by OP.
    Other TIs have died without knowing what had hit them.These include: Late Presidents Sata and Mwanawasa. Both died before expiry of their tenure of offices in State House. They didn’t die of Natural Causes, but were duped and hoodwinked to their untimely deaths by OP. Forensic postmortems on these other victims’ bodies, would confirm foul play.
    Similarly, some surviving Victims don’t know that OP is behind their plight. They are Paralyzed, Sick, suffering and just waiting for death. These include: Some Military Personnel and Civilians. Thorough Medical checkups on these victims would also confirm the evil hand of OP.
    Among surviving victims include Me. I’m a victim of TORTURE, Assassinations Attempts and gross human rights violations perpetuated by OP. Due to prolonged exposure to deadly Radiation, Poisons, Toxic Gasses and traumatic experiences, my health is rapidly deteriorating. I’m dying. I need urgent medical attention to ascertain the irreparable damage done to me and hopefully salvage whatever has remained of me.
    I have irrefutable hard evidence to prove the atrocities and heinous crimes being committed against me and others, by OP.
    There is ample evidence to give a jump start to any investigations and secure prosecution and conviction of the perpetrators and their collaborators.
    President Edgar C Lungu is not part to OP’s hidden agenda and its criminal activities. President Lungu does not know that the OP is committing crimes on his watch. In fact, President Lungu is also a TI to be discarded when the OP able to install one of its own as Head of State.
    Currently, the OP is indirectly running the affairs of this country. It would like to Directly run this country. Just like it almost happened in Egypt.
    OP’s main Strategy to achieve the ultimate goal of its hidden agenda is to weaken the political system. This is to justify its taking over power in Zambia.
    Zambia is currently drifting irresistibly towards becoming a Savage Democracy:
    Governments serve all people equitably;
    Regimes serve chosen few close to Leaders;
    Savage Democracies serve one person and his proteges.Syria, Turkey, North Korea, China under Mao, Germany under Hitler, Zimbabwe, etc, are some of the examples of Savage Democracies. Savage Democracies are more dangerous than Regimes. The backbone of almost all Savage Democracies is their Intelligence or and the Military.
    The OP has always been behind all the cycle of governments, regimes and savage democracies in Zambia. It is today.
    This vicious circle must be stopped now.Zambia must not be allowed to go the Turkish, Egyptian, Romanian, Syrian or Zimbabwean ways.
    Let us support: The Repealing of Insult Law; the campaign against political assassinations, torture, impunity, gross human rights violations, use of WMD, Use of Children and undermining of democracy, by OP; Urge President Lungu to consider probing into OP’s Crimes and Disbanding OP, just like in Argentina; call for Intelligence and Security Reforms; support the creation of a National Security Agency to stop OP’s monopoly; etc.
    This is our country. Let us come together and combine our efforts for the highest good.

    Simeo G Musonda Col (Ret)
    26 097 892 5802

  14. Obsever

    Zambia need to repeal alot of all her laws! zambia must take note of the vibrant south african law which is more democratic than any country in the world. The presidency in zambia should not be elavated above the people it serves. People must have freedoms and the world ‘insults’ is actually based on personal ego. An ‘insult” is marely an expression of a word that someone may think he is too important to be called. Zambia’s laws are authoritative in that, the presidency is as good as a king, only that one who is elected to office. the presidency must prove itself beyond any resonable doubt that people can call it above aboard.

  15. mulongoti

    What is to reapl the law especially the insults law educate me pls

  16. mukenga

    Mr Jere’s right and such of the respondents are blind supporters. I think the examples he has given are there for all to see. In RSA we see how President Zuma is insulted but we have never heard of arrests. Hope President Lungu should be briefed of the arrest of the student. While not supporting insult of our leaders i think the student should be reprimanded. I would like my fellow Zambians not use insulting language not how strongly you feel against their contribution, Its disappointing how some of can insult on this media.

  17. Simeo G Musonda Col (Ret)

    Let us create a platform for engaging Youths in National Affairs. This would enable the youths to Learn, Vent their Emotions , Find Jobs, and constructively contribute to National Development.
    It is unfortunate that the Zambian Intelligence is Recruiting, Radicalizing and Using Children and Youths in spying, torturing, and criminal activities.
    Instead of equipping Children with Tools to thrive, the OP is equipping children with tools of destruction.Most youths who are employed by OP have become INSOLENT , INDOLENT and OBSERVERS..
    It is the use of Children, Students and Youths and Human Rights violations that sparked off the mass uprisings in China and Romania in 1989 and the ARAB SPRING.
    OP has created a problem of Child Spies in Zambia. Just like Child Soldiers in other countries, there will be need to Rehabilitate Children Spies in Zambia, with the help of the United Nations.
    It is our responsibility to bring up our children in a responsible and civilized manner. Let us inculcate in them high moral and Human Values. Tolerance, understanding, empathy, peaceful coexistence, not to hurt other people’ s feelings and respect for one another.

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