Former President Rupiah Banda has maintained that Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mutembo Nchito has a burning vendetta against him (Banda) following the collapse of the Zambian Airways and that he was unlikely to get a fair trial if he (Nchito) is going to be allowed to continue prosecuting the former president.
Mr Banda in objecting to submissions by Mr Nchito who is insisting on prosecuting the former president even after he had been branded deeply conflicted said the DPP perceived him (Banda) an arch-rival who had caused the collapse of the Zambian Airways.
President Banda in his submission argued that Mr Nchito was deeply conflicted because while trial in the Nigerian Oil deal was going on, the DPP travelled to Nigeria on a probe mission and wondered why investigations had to be conducted after trial had commenced.
Mr Banda argued that in another case, Principal Resident Magistrate Obster Musukwa had referred the matter to the High Court for constitutional guarantee for a fair trial.
He said through his lawyers that it was prudent the case of the Nigerian Oil deal was referred to the High Court as the decision of the court had a bearing on both criminal trials.
President Banda submitted that the alternative to referring the matter to the High Court was to stay the proceedings of the Nigeria Oil deal case pending the outcome of the first referral of Mr Banda’s case to the High Court.
President Banda is being represented by prominent lawyers who include Professor Patrick Mvunga, Sakwiba Sikota, Eric Silwamba, Irene Kunda and Makebi Zulu.
President Banda submitted that Mr Nchito together with his business partner Fred M’membe, owner of the Post Newspaper was angry and that publication of contemptuous editorials was a clear sign that the former head of state would never receive a fair trial.
He argued that Mr M’membe and the Post Newspaper whom he has since sued had published editorials disparaging him (Banda) as being corrupt while criminal proceedings were in full motion.
President Banda stated in his arguments against Mr Nchito’s insistence to continue prosecuting him that the DPP played a pivotal role in attempting to force government to bail him out on the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan.
He stated that Mr Nchito also attempted to force government for the deferment of the money owed to National Airports Cooperation as well as a waiver or deferment of tax arrears.
“The DPP is personally handling the prosecution of a perceived rival to the collapsed Zambian Airways. It is these revelations that lead President Banda into disclosing the contents of the Post Newspaper of the 4th April 2013. The contents of the editorials of the Post Newspaper whose editor is a business partner of Mr Nchito clearly conveys the joint anger of the two business partners. One is in court proceedings and the other is in editorials disparaging me as being corrupt while criminal proceedings are in full motion,” former president Banda said.
President Banda argued that Mr Nchito’s state of mind was that of anger hence his fear that he would not have the constitutional right of having a fair trial and hearing as he had exhibited partiality in his prosecution.
The former president said Mr Nchito was on record as having said that what complicated the plight of the Zambian Airways was political pressure as the defunct airline was being asked to get rid of one of the directors of the company seen not to be in good standing with the government at the time.
He submitted that Mr Nchito while looking for the job of DPP told the Parliamentary select committee that he would recuse himself from prosecuting cases where he would have an interest and allow another prosecutor to handle the cases because the office of the DPP had many other officers.