Renowned civil rights activist Brebner Changala has charged that Parliament has exhbited the worst forms of hypocricy by failing to act on a petition by a number of senior citizens demanding the immediate recovery of the K38 billion owed to Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito and his business partner Fred M’membe.
An array of senior citizens have petitioned Parliament demanding that Nchito and M’membe who is the proprietor of the Post Newspaper should immediately be ordered to repay the K38 billion DBZ loan that the two had obtained by fraudulent misrepresenation.
But officials from Parliament in a letter signed by Cecilia Sikatele have said they could not act on the petition because the matter was in court.
Changala has charged that Parliament had exhbited the worst forms of doble standards because that was the same House that had moved with a supersonic speed to debate the motion to strip former president Rupiah Banda when it was fully aware that the matter was before the court of law.
Changala said although the DBZ case was in court, the matter was not an injunction for Parliament to have rejected to debate a matter that was attracting a lot of concerns from the general public.
Changala said the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini was on record over the Rupiah Banda motion that Paliament was an independent body that could be restrined from debating matters before it by other bodies,
He explaimed the Development Bank of Zambia was a creation of the Act of Parliament and that the House had an oversight role on how the bank was being managed.
The civil rights activist said the best the Speaker of the National Assembly could have done was to order the Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda to issue a ministerial statment on the state of affairs at DBZ.
Changala said the Zambians were anxious to know why the Ministry of Finance had withdrawn the DBZ case from the court and quickly changed the legal team that had successfully litigated the matter on behalf of Zambians.
“The Speaker of the Nation
Parliament has failed to act on the petition to have the DBZ loan recovered immediately on account that the petition had raised issues that were pending adjudication before the courts of law.
Sikatele said the rule of sub judice was a convention of Parliaments that restrained the House to debate or consider matters before the courts of laws for what it termed real fear of prejudicing their outcomes.
She said the National Assembly of Zambia like all Commonwelath Parliaments was bound by the sub judice rule and could not therfore consider the petition.“I have been directed to advise that your petition raises issues that are pending adjudication before the courts of law hence sub judice. Thesub judice rule, a convention of Parliaments, restrains the House to debate or consider matters before court for fear of prejudicing their outcome. The National Assembly of Zambia like all Commonwealth Parliaments is bound by the sub judice rule. In this regard, the National Assembly cannot consider your petition,” said Sikatele.