THE Mutembo Nchito issue borders on integrity.
The definition of integrity by both the South African Constitutional Court and Kenya High Court is very clear. A person lacks integrity if he has outstanding unresolved moral and financial issues. It could not be any clearer.
These are the grounds on which the two courts rejected Presidential appointments of a DPP and Integrity chief.
It does not matter how much the Law Association may protest. It has exposed itself as a reckless organisation that allowed an individual without integrity to serve as the Director of Public Prosecutions in this country.
This situation should never have been allowed.
The Association should have been the first line of defence to ensure that our criminal justice was not perverted by an appointment that would bring the system into ridicule, embarrassment and grievous danger of corruption.
There is no doubt that members of the Association were fully aware of the charges that have been brought by Mr. Newton Nguni. There is absolutely nothing new in the charges, they were well known and yet LAZ, the Association of learned men and women, was too scared to speak out, in fear of the powerful cartel that could demonise presidents, hound a DPP to his lonely death, enter nolles in cases to favour their allies, arraign all political party presidents before the courts and dispatch judges into professional exile.
The Association must as a matter of urgency recuse itself from these proceedings because it smacks of bias. Why should the entire Association side with the lawyers defending Nchito and not the lawyers prosecuting. Both teams are bona fide members of the association who know the law.
There was deafening silence from the Association when President Sata suspended three judges outside the normal procedure. why are they overly concerned for one person? Do we assume that these are friends using the Association to defend a friend?
There was deafening silence from the Association when persons who had never sat on the bench, and had never written any judgements were jettisoned to the Supreme Court.
The ruling by supreme court judge Gregory Phiri that chastised Nchito for forgery was reported in this paper and yet no effort was made by the association to question or discipline Nchito perhaps because of fear.
It is also true that the Speaker of the House was informed about the various misrepresentations by Nchito and yet the house was allowed to ratify the appointment. The attempt by the Association to involve the President to truncate the matter is neither fair, nor in accordance with the law.
The law, the Criminal Procedure Code sets out in very clear detail how a complaint can be raised against anyone, except the President who has immunity.
The DPP as an individual has no immunity from prosecution in criminal matters. There is no such law and LAZ should not create one, or indeed create the impression that Nchito is above the law.
The Association had a chance to save this nation from this debacle but failed the nation and must not be allowed to subvert the law now.
Clearly what Hon. Nguni has tabulated is simply the tip of the iceberg, a tribunal is bound to expose more.
We would like to appeal to the Association to allow Hon Nguni table his case and also allow Nchito to answer the charges. The genie is out of the bottle, it cannot be put back. The Pandora’s box has been opened, more is about to spill out.
If anything let the Association expedite the institution of a tribunal so that more matters can be dealt with in one felt swoop rather than leave festering issues that are certainly bound to arise in the future because we know for a fact that that many other concerns will arise.
The issues of the Levy Task force on corruption are bound to come out and the sooner this matter is dealt with the better.
This is indeed a matter of integrity and the next logical step in this exercise is for Mutembo Nchito to come out of hiding, present himself before the courts and for all parties concerned to allow our judicial system its space to conclude the matter according to the law.