Mutembo Nchito our erstwhile Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) should not preside over the prosecution of former President Rupiah Banda.
We submit that if he does this will be a serious case of conflict of interest from which he should recuse himself publicly.
Mutembo Nchito was found culpable of fraudulent misrepresentation in the manner he secured K14billion from the Development Bank of Zambia on behalf of the defunct Zambian Airways.
He was also been accused of obtaining US$4million from Finance Bank, a matter which has since been withdrawn following a nolle prose qui he issued to the Bank’s Chairman Rajan Mathani.
The two matters we feel are connected because they gained great currency under the leadership of President Banda who was roundly criticized by the Directors of the defunct Zambian Airways of which Nchito was chief executive.
It will be unrealistic to expect that the DPP will render impartial and unbiased service judging from the vehemence of attacks that were directed at the former President for his perceived hand in the collapse of the airline and subsequent demands for the company to pay back the money it owed to various Parastatal institutions and other service providers.
This matter and other are still active before courts of law and the DPP is appearing in those matters.
Ideally we should never have a DPP embroiled in such matters that border on criminality, but under this Government this is normal. This is a regime that appoints Ministers who have fraud, theft and abuse of authority matters before courts of law.
Indeed it has been said that no enduring civilization or country has ever been built on lawlessness and criminality.
Those who break the law must be prosecuted regardless of their relationship with the political party in power.
Indeed Government’s intention to bring former President Rupiah Banda to account would not be questioned except for the fact that the personalities that have driven the process are themselves under question.
It is worrying that many friends of the ruling Patriotic Front who have serious cases pending against them are not only free but now have a hand in prosecuting him.
We have in mind the Billions of Kwacha that have been stolen from accounts of properties sequestrated by the defunct Task Force on Corruption which appears to have been revived under the shameless Joint Government Investigative team.
Records at the Bank of Zambia are very clear. Billions of Kwacha has been stolen. The people responsible are known and yet no action has been taken to remedy the situation, if anything there are desperate efforts of cover-up, which the courts of law have gladly rejected.
We are quite surprised by the silence of Transparency International (TIZ) the paragon of virtue which has been very quick to pronounce itself on Mr. Rupiah Banda but has remained singularly silent on the plunder of Task Force assets.
These are real thefts and massive abuse of authority conducted by real people whose malfeaance is very well documented.
We hope that TIZ will speak out and call for the prosecution of those responsible for the corruption and theft.
The French have the Dreyfus affair to thank for their concept of judicial equality.
This matter involved the conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus for Treason in 1894. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly having communicated French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris.
He was sent to the French Penal colony of Devil’s Island where he languished for five years until serious media activism revealed that he was actually innocent.There is a moral in the Dreyfus affair for Zambia.
We should not allow the abuse of our systems for the purpose of “scapegoating” or indeed political retribution.