Friday, December 6, 2013

For a Moment, Risk Siding with Kasambara

The Joyce Banda administration might still be a baby in respect of governance. Surely, however, it has matured in one area—propaganda. Take the arrest of Ralph, ohhh no, Ralphael Kasambara. Now see how the Banda administration has managed to stage a propaganda that has led to a de-emphasis of the cashgate to priming Kasambara arrest. Consequently, this day, so it seems, the issue is less about cashgate and more about Kasambara’s role in the shooting of Paul Mphwiyo, the ex-Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance.

Apparently to the sole end of the state propaganda on Kasambara, the nation was invited to try and convict him. The nation obeyed and so the man is convicted. Stories—of Kasambara bedding young girls, of him commencing suits with false evidence, of him staging legal dramas to maneuver his way out—have been made public to the consumption of the gullible citizens. And hungry for information as the citizens are, they swallowed the information oft-times without chewing. And the citizens believe they have the right information on which to judge the character of one Ralph, the celebrity lawyer.

The Banda administration happens to give itself a pat on the back for having achieved its goal—dirtying Kasambara’s image. Now the citizens cannot call for his release as was the case during the Bingu wa Mutharika days when he again was put in the cooler. The language, from the media to the academicians and from the public officials to the citizens, is the same; trust Kasambara at your own risk.

This be as it is, it interests logic to look at all angles to a problem. Kasambara might have been bad, immoral or what have you; but still, every his case…past, present, or future needs to be considered on its own merits. Reason celebrates this line of thinking, and so is justice. To this end, it is tempting to risk trusting him on his pronouncements regarding his arrest.

His story, or sorry! His history aside, Kasambara has every hallmark of someone sacrificed at the altar of political opportunism. His persecution in the name of prosecution will undoubtedly have boomeranging effect on the People’s Party (PP) and its leadership. His calmness and poise should tell a serious analyst of someone with a card hidden up in ones sleeves. 

Here is the caveat in all this: if indeed there is hard evidence proving Kasambara’s complicity to the attempted murder of Mphwiyo, then why the whole state machinery is busy dangling carrots and sticks to would-be witness to implicate him?. 

If the writing in the media is anything to go by, one wonders why the police are on the prowl negotiating dark deals with witnesses, all with the sole aim of offing Kasambara professionally and more so politically. Doesn’t this, in itself, evidence enough of the persecutory nature of his prosecution? Or perhaps, and most likely so, the state is afraid of his innocence? Is it not said elsewhere that the innocence of a humble man has a strange way of revealing the innocence.

Again, if indeed Kasambara is a crook, then he would better know that crookedness hardly pays if practiced against those up in the socio-economic and political ladder, let alone the president. Him of all people should have known that the president is a well-advised individual in any society. And would not, ordinarily, dare say the president is his witness. But he just did exactly that. Certainly, Kasambara is on a serious mission!

Seriously, the lawyer in him should have told him to tread carefully on his statement that the president is his witness. And, perhaps surprisingly, he has clung to his statement that the president should be in the dock as his witness.  Yet, the lawyer in him, still whispers that calling the president in the witness box is the safest way to tread. And Kasambara does not regret that call to this day!

Reading the writings in the media, and observing the Mphwiyo-cashgate saga as earnestly as the author does, there seems to be no better way to conclude the Kasambara arrest other than that the man is a victim of give-a-dog-a-bad-name-and-kill-him politicking. 

Given the above, one would hasten to risk siding with Kasambara. Yes, whatever the stories of his past, the man is most surely more under persecution and less under prosecution. And somehow he survives, and he will.

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