(There is hullaballoo in the courtroom before Judge Mbadwa enters to make his ruling in a case in which an opposition party is questioning government for withdrawing an opposition mayor’s entitlement without justification. Opposition members are chanting: Wapalamula chitedze Mvula Pamunda iwe chidzakuyabwa! Chidzakuyabwa)
Court Clerk: Silence! This is not a campaign ground! It is honourable Mbadwa’s court. We have a big ground half a kilometre from here, you can use it if you are really itching to dance. We do not tolerate such nonsense here. (The court falls into silence). All rise! (Judge Mbadwa enters and takes his seat).
Judge Mbadwa: I have considered the submission by counsel for the opposition who have argued that government has a subtle policy of ill-treating mayors from the opposition. He has demonstrated how a vehicle for Brazer Zunga, an opposition mayor, was being withdrawn at the whims of the ruling party every time the party was holding campaign rallies. It is on record that the mayor was evicted from an institutional house.
As evidence that the ill-treatment of an opposition mayor is institutionalised, they cited a sworn affidavit in which a senior ruling party official, who also happens to be in the party’s inner circle, honourable Mvula Pamunda, told the estranged mayor that he will continue facing hardships as long as he is in opposition.
It is clear that the ruling party wants to swallow opposition members through devious means.
The law provides for equal treatment of all persons holding a particular office regardless of the party colour they are displaying. People like Mvula Pamunda should know how to separate party from government issues. We are no longer in a one-party era. The vehicle the mayor was using was bought by the city council not the ruling party.
This court cannot allow people like Mvula Pamunda to discriminate against the duly-elected mayor on the basis of his political association. Freedom of association entails that nobody should be forced to belong to a particular grouping. If someone has a phobia for the blue colour, should they be forced to wear blue clothes? It does not work that way. I, therefore, order the arrest of anyone insulting the mayor for wearing a colour that the ruling party hates. Mvula Pamunda should no longer be seen near the mayor without the knowledge of this court. He is a danger to society.
Now to other matters. I have received a lot of queries on how this court dispenses justice. But as I said on the onset, the power of this court to adjudicate cases or issue orders is not derived by the conventional judicial systems as defined by the Republican Constitution, neither is it guided by international law as is the case with the International Criminal Court and other adjudicating agencies.
This is just a citizen court that looks at issues affecting the citizens and whose power to dispense justice is derived from public interest.
The fact that the court is not compelled to follow archaic protocols and decorum of those courts of wigs and suits should soothe some souls. I hope this puts matters into perspective.