FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda has demanded that the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan obtained by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, his business partner Fred M’membe who is Post Newspaper owner and Nchima Nchito, through the defunct Zambian Airways must be paid back in accordance with the tenets of good cooperate governance.
Mr Chikwanda said the DBZ had a competent board of directors that should ensure that those that borrowed paid back the money.
He however said he was not going to be tempted to use his office to push for the payment of the DBZ loan that has over the years generated serious concerns and fears that Zambians would likely lose the money because the people who owed the bank were resisting to settle the debt.
Answering questions from journalists at his office yesterday, Mr Chikwanda said it was up to DBZ to continue pursuing the matter so that the money was paid back in conformity with the tenets of good governance.
When Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali said the public was angry that the K14 billion loan which suspended High Court Judge Nigel Mutuna ordered that it be paid back because it was obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation, Mr Chikwanda said he shared the concerns with the general public.
Mr Chikwanda said the Government of the Republic of Zambia was the majority shareholder and therefore it was important that the bank was run without interference but that good corperate governance must at all times be observed.
He said borrowing was strictly between the lender and the borrower and that he was going to leave the matter to DBZ board of directors to effectively pursue the matter.
“Borrowing is strictly between the lender and the borrower and we are all bound by the tenets of good cooperate governance. DBZ has a competent board of directors who must be left to pursue the K14 billion loan and the Zambia Revenue Authority has the report.
This problem has its origin and all these matters should be sorted out. The loan must be pursued under the tenets of good cooperate governance and I do not want to use my office to settle scores,” Mr Chikwanda said.
And Mr Tayali told Mr Chikwanda that he was one of the citizens who had applied to the High Court to be joined to the DBZ loan case because he was serving public interest to which Mr Chikwanda acknowledged.
Mr Tayali said DBZ was a public institution and that it was important for the Ministry of Finance to take a leading role in ensuring that the money was recovered.