OPINION: Mwaliteta’s Acquittal-An Obvious Case of Abuse of State Power

The acquittal of one Obvious Summerton Mwaliteta after having spent one year in incarceration at Lusaka Central Prison provides valuable political lessons.

Ideally it is an arrest that should not have taken place in the first place. And worse was the charge law enforcement agencies chose to dress Mwaliteta and his co-accused with -aggravated robbery.

It certainly achieved its short term objective of keeping Mwaliteta and his colleagues behind bars considering that the charge is non bailable.

What Mwaliteta and his gang did was unacceptable as they attempted to take the law into their own hands by wrestling materials from an Electoral Commission of Zambia van.

But to have bundled away the gang for one year on a ridiculous charge of aggravated robbery smacked of the highest case abuse of power.

Not many will forget how hard it was to bring the gang before the courts of law on the charge of aggravated robbery.

It had to take attempts by their lawyers to arm twist the system by the threat of pushing for an appeal for constitutional bail.

The tragedy is not that Mwaliteta has served his undeserved one year behind bars on a trumped up charge but that another political office holder may in future apply the same standards.

It is not the fact that those that are irritating government are being caged that should worry any student of history but that dangerous precedents being set daily by the system in dealing with political opponents may be back to torment today’s tormentors.

Naturally when one is on the side of the divide of those that control and enjoy state power, there could be no need to see sense in the emerging trend of some identical template of dealing with political opponents.

If the idea was to set Mwaliteta as an example of what could befall those that stand at variance with the ruling party establishment, then the effect could be opposite as the case has ended in the only manner it could when subjected to a stringent legal test.

Mwaliteta may be lucky to have emerged from this ordeal strong enough to carry on with his political party beliefs but in truth there could be an incentive for seeing a different light on the post incarceration period.

Zambians need to step back and reflect on the events that have befallen the once upon a time democratic pillar. We welcome Mwaliteta back to the outside world where he can freely participate in helping the political party of his choice assume power.

While we are still on it, Mwaliteta may have been bruised the last 12 months, but it is the tax payers the biggest losers who will be forced to compensate him if he so wishes to contest the wrongful incarceration.

Poor Zambians will be squeezed by ZRA to meet Mwaliteta’s settlement while those who engineered this blunder stay put sipping on their favourite drinks. It harms no one to think through our actions especially when charged with national responsibility.


  1. Prince

    Well come back Mr Mwaliteta O.Am wishing u a good health.

  2. JM

    Who ever lives by the sword will perish by the sword.
    Lungu will rot in prison for many years to come.
    He likes sending his friends to jail on trumped charges, he will go through the same process.
    He who laughs last laughs the loudest.

  3. C Jameson

    No words

  4. 1lee


  5. Mike

    The court must spare,vibrant citizens

  6. mailon

    We cant even comment.Kutambakofye ekofileya katwishi.Ngawalanda ………..

  7. bk

    May god be hournered

  8. Joe

    welcome back, mwaliteta

  9. chanzi

    save us oh lord

  10. patrick

    This is good news zambia

  11. joseph chanda

    wat else

  12. Vickmharol Chileshe

    Wish u a gud healthy

  13. Vickmharolc

    Mwaliteta mwaculeni wish u a gud healthy

  14. Leonard pomboloka

    Thanks for releasing mwaliteta,but remember the day reckoning is coming!!

  15. my diary

    that’s robbery Ba Zambia report he is luck to be acquitted

    • mudala phiri

      What did he take in your percieved robbery. If you are thinking of ballot papers, the votes were already counted and so the papers were effectually valueless and in any case he had the freedom to be at ECZ complex as a politician. Shut up if you are bigotted.

  16. citizen

    This is one of the few sobering item I have read on this platform. Do we know he maybe awarded damages and we the public have to pay?Iam sure some body will say, so what,what does it matter,it happens etc. There lies our inability to move foward and change the way we govern ourselves. Do the charges reflect competence on the law enforcement agencies? Was it political expedience? Who takes responsibility for the loss from the decision?

  17. David

    government ya lulu awe mwandi

  18. frazzer

    you should have locked the bull dog away, and thrown the keys

  19. Franktok

    The constitution should be amended so that whoever arrests someone on a case without evidence should have his retirement benefits forfeited to the state to be used as compensation or damages. This will force officers to work professionally.

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