President yesterday told the Lusaka High Court that if there were people who have borrowed money from financial institutions they should pay back because he does not support crooks.
‘’ If people won’t pay back Zambians suffer. ‘He said
In reference to the K14 billion loan obtained by the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mr Mutembo Nchito, Post newspaper owner Mr Fred M’Membe and Mr Nchima Nchito, the President said it was the bank’s lawyer Mr Vincent Malambo who borrowed the money.
An attempt by state counsel Bonaventure Mutale to explain that it was not Vincent Malambo who borrowed the money was rebuffed.
‘’But if there are people who owe the bank money they should pay back because I don’t support Crooks, ‘’said the president.
When his lawyers asked him what he knew about the DBZ case, President Sata said he knew about the matter because as President he was custodian of national affairs.
But later the President shocked the court when he said that his office was not aware of the matter and did not participate in the DBZ loan that was obtained by Mr Nchito and his business partner M’membe by what Judge Nigel Mutuna said was fraudulent misrepresentation.
President Sata has sued the newspaper for publishing a story on 16 May 2012 in which UNZA academic Dr Choolwe Beyani accused government of criminality for removing prominent Lusaka lawyer Vincent Malambo from the case he had successfully sued on behalf of Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) for the recovery of K14 billion from the defunct Zambian Airways owned by Mutembo Nchito, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Fred M’Membe, the owner of the Post newspaper and Nchima Nchito.
Mmembe and Nchito were business partners in the bankrupt Zambia Airways, which had borrowed several million dollars from the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) and to date, have not repaid the loans totaling 14 million kwacha rebased. The two judges and one justice were involved in the decisions that would have required the two men and their business group to repay the loan.
President Michael Sata suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda along with two High Court Judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga and later constituted a tribunal that was headed by Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa.
By a vote of 4 to 7,the Supreme Court ruled to advise that the judicial review tribunal was not necessary, However they did not go so far as to order that the president could not carry on with the initiative .
President Sata acted within his constitutional powers to form the tribunal, the court ruled, although they recommended to him that he should not proceed given the constitutional issues raised by the tribunal.