Edith Nawakwi has hailed the jailing of MMD Lusaka Province youth chairperson Chris Chalwe as a lesson to him and others that violence does not pay.

And Nawakwi said William Banda was the last thing politics needed in Zambia.
Commenting on the jailing of Chalwe to one year imprisonment with hard labour for common assault by the magistrates' court on Tuesday, Nawakwi who is FDD president, asked politicians to realise that they were not above the law, whether in the ruling party or the opposition.

She said she hoped Chalwe's conviction would signal the end of political violence which had engulfed the nation.

"I am sure he will realise that violence doesn't pay because prison is not a place where you wish even your enemies to be. I think while we all have the opportunity to live in a peaceful country, we need to seize the opportunity to live a life that is exemplary, especially those of us who are in politics," Nawakwi said.

She said countries around the world had collapsed because of violence, adding that it was worse if politicians extended their violence to non-politicians like journalists.

"It simply means that all politicians must realise they are not above the law, whether they are in government or out of government," Nawakwi said. "And unfortunately criminal conviction in this country does not entitle politicians to hold office, so young Chalwe all he has achieved is to cut his political career. But as for me as a mother all I can say is that people should pray for him. Prison is not the best place even to an enemy."

Nawakwi said the judgment sent a clear signal that violence does not pay, more so in a civil place like Zambia.

She said a nation which used violence to stifle political divergence would only end up in mediocrity.

Nawakwi said elements like MMD Lusaka Province chairperson William Banda were not needed in the country's politics.

She said she had experienced the behaviour of Banda.

"And truly one can only say that he needs to be born-again. The Church from time to time should call William Banda in the quiet of the pulpits of the Churches, they should pray for him. Truly he is the last thing that politics needs in this country," Nawakwi said. "I can honestly say that he is the last person that our head of state needs around in terms of the progress of the President as a leader of the Zambian people."

She said people like Banda thought they owned the presidency and government.

Nawakwi said it did not pay for people to go to prison on account of other politicians.

Nawakwi was recently a victim of threats of violence from MMD cadres who had threatened to gang-rape her for criticising President Banda. Police effected no arrest despite Nawakwi reporting the matter.

MMD acting national secretary Chembe Nyangu refused to comment on Chalwe's jailing saying he did not follow the matter. He said he had not even studied it.

Senior resident magistrate David Simusamba on Tuesday jailed Chalwe one year with hard labour for common assault.

However, magistrate Simusamba acquitted Chalwe on a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

In this case, Chalwe stood charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to sections 248 of the Penol Code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

In count one, Chalwe is alleged to have assaulted Post newspaper journalist Chibaula David Silwamba.

Particulars of the offence are that Chalwe on July 29, 2009 in Lusaka assaulted Silwamba, thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm.

In count two, Chalwe is accused of having assaulted Times of Zambia senior reporter Anthony Mulowa, thereby occasioning him bodily harm.

Passing judgment, magistrate Simusamba convicted Chalwe on a charge of common assault under section 247 of the Laws of Zambia but acquitted him on the offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm because the prosecution failed to establish that there was physical harm inflicted on the two victims.

He said the medical reports cast a doubt on his mind.

"I note that the offence committed was of political nature and that it was becoming rampant to our young democracy," said magistrate Simusamba.

Magistrate Simusamba said Chalwe had a right to appeal within 14 days.

Earlier, when defence lawyer Keith Mukata was about to mitigate, magistrate Simusamba said there was no mitigation because he had already mitigated for him.