Nchito must take leave, says FODEP

It will be highly injudicious and a miscariage of justice for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito to continue holding on to his position when he (Mutembo) is being accused in the High Court in the now infamous Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan saga, the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has said.

FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi has asked Mutembo to search his moral and legal values and step aside or go on leave until the court process in his case was determined, for the second time by the High Court.

Chipenzi said the High Court Judges would have challenges in handling the matter because Nchito who is the DPP was the senior most in the judicial system and would certainly cause unnecessary presure on the judges.

Chipenzi told the Daily Nation that the Judges would have undue pressure in handling Nchito’s DBZ case because of the controversy that had surrounded his appoinment and the conflict of interest that would be generated from the matter.

Chipenzi said the judiciary was currently in a state of serious confusion with the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda having refused to vacate her office despite being inelegible to hold the position on account of her being disqualified by the constitution.

The FODEP chief said it was baffling that both Chibesakunda and Nchito had been controvercially appointed and that it would be an asault on the justice system of the country for the two judicial officers to continue presiding over their offices that require men and women with unquestionable integrity.

Chipenzi said if Nchito did not have the moral concsience to step down and allow the court case to proced without him in the office, President Michael Sata should consider invoking his powers and ask the DPP to go on leave until such a time when his court case would be over.

“It will be an assault on the justice system for Mutembo Nchito to remain in the office of the DPP when he would be prosecuted in the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan. I believe the Judges report to him as the DPP and now his case has been redirected to the High Court for retrial. He cannot remain DPP while he is being prosecuted. As you know, the judiciary is already in a state of confusion with the Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda being challenged by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to vacate her office because she has been disqulified by the constitution,” Chipenzi said.

Chipenzi explained that Nchito should avoid creating suspicions in the minds of the people that he was institing to remain in the office of the DPP so that he could influence the outcome of the High Court process.

He said there was no doubt that although the High Court would be prosecuting him as an ordinary citizen, it would be difficult for people to believe that his prosecution would be without undue pressure because Nchito was not an ordinary citizen.

Chipenzi said it would be fair for Nchito to go on leave and allow the due process of the law to take its full course in the DBZ loan saga in which Fred M’membe of the Post Newspaper and Nchima Nchito, the brother to the DPP were ordered to pay back the K14 billion DBZ loan they had obtained.

“Let him go on leave and if he cannot, the appointing authrity should force him to go on leave so that the court process could be concluded without him as the DPP. Let him wait for the conclusion of the case and he can get back his job after he has been cleared,” Chipenzi said.