The statement by Chief government spokesman Kennedy Sakeni, justifying the continued stay of Malawian judge Lovemore Chikopa in Zambia completely misses the point.
Zambians would like to know why they should spend more tax payers money chasing after money that has been stolen from them.
The starting point in this entire K14bn Development Bank of Zambia should be the manner in which the money was obtained from the bank. In its reports the Bank of Zambia, the supervisory authority of all banks has stated quite categorically that the K14bn loan which has now mounted to K18bn was in breach of the Banking and financial Services, large loan exposure regulation and that the loan led to a significant regulatory capital deterioration when it became non-performing. They are therefore two elements to this loan which have got nothing to do whatsoever with what is transpiring in the courts of law and indeed with the tribunal.
The first issue is that the money was obtained in breach of banking and financial services regulation. In other words the transaction was irregular in the first place. This is a matter that deserved thorough investigation in order to determine firstly how this came about and who were responsible for it. To date this has not been established and every effort is being made to mislead the Zambian people from appreciating that what appears to have been loan was in fact a fraudulent activity that broke the law. After breaking the law the amount came into default hence the pursuit of the loan by DBZ.
These events are being juxtaposed to give an impression that the transaction constituted of a normal banking transaction in which all conditions precedent were observed. This is not the case and any attempts to suggest otherwise are at best disingenuous and at worst a fraud perpetrated to obfuscate and therefore mislead.
We cannot discuss the matters before the courts but can only comment on an outstanding judgement namely that of Nigel Mutuna who found as a fact that the money was obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation. Whether or nor the Supreme Court finds one way or the other will not change or invalidate the two points that the Bank of Zambia has already established namely that it was obtained in breach of law and secondly that the loan was in default.
That is why the government’s statement supporting the expensive stay of Judge Chikopa is not addressing the grievance and frustration felt by Zambians that a clearly fraudulent activity identified by Zambians as such should cost them more by maintaining an officer who will simply deal with the symptomatic outcome of an irregular transaction.
It is ingenuity that focus has been shifted from the real issues to the periphery by making subsequent proceedings more important, visible and contentious than the original matters.
Our appeal therefore is that the government should as a matter of urgency put some perspective in this matter because the protestations thus far have been without merit or substance.
We are a poor country and cannot afford to throw good money after bad.