PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu should not swallow the bait of being drawn into the Mutembo Nchito quagmire. Fred M,membe’s intention is to politicise what is a criminal matter.
Corruption is not a matter that should be dealt with by State House, it must be dealt with by competent authorities, who should now make appropriate recommendations to the President.
A situation has arisen and action is required.
Previous presidents starting with president Mwanawasa fell into the trap of being personally involved in corruption crusades that turned out to be personal vendetta.
This should not happen to President Lungu.
There is nowhere in the laws of Zambia where the DPP is immune from prosecution, only the President has such immunity. As to how the DPP will be prosecuted is a matter to be decided by the courts and not the President. If it means he must be suspended to face the law, let it be so but the President must not intervene.
Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito have been working together for a long time as business partners and more insidiously as “corruption crusaders” in a scenario where M’membe has used information from Mutembo to prosecute individuals in the media through a vicious hate campaign in his Post Newspaper.
The sanctimonious pontification of Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe and indeed the Law Association of Zambia over the “plight” of Mutembo Nchito should be dismissed as insensitive, ill-conceived, totally misplaced and discredited attempts to divert attention from a very serious national issue.
The matters that have been brought before the courts are not matters under investigation, or alleged criminal acts, they are factual and not open to speculation.
That Mutembo forged a document before Supreme Court judge Gregory Phiri is fact. This is on record. It has nothing to do with hating or liking Mutembo Nchito. It has everything to do with his fraudulent character.
That Mutembo contracted a DBZ loan which Judge Nigel Mutuna found to have been contracted by fraudulent misrepresentation is fact and it is on record. It has to do with his fraudulent character.
That Mutembo, under oath, told the Parliamentary Select Committee that he would not prosecute matters involving former president Rupiah Banda, is also fact. The records are there. These are the matters that have brought him to court and which he must answer.
This country deserves a credible criminal prosecution system that is run by a credible Director of Public Prosecutions and not hoodlums masquerading as paragons of virtue. His flawed and murky character and deeds are certainly unbefitting of the office he holds.
We are not even surprised that this matter originated from Chongwe instead of Lusaka. The rot in the judiciary in Lusaka is deep and will require the very concerted effort of the Minister of Justice and the Chief Justice to correct.
Mutembo had a very corrosive effect on the courts. He ‘got away with murder’ because officers were either petrified of what punishment might befall them or were totally compromised – he was feared and untouchable.
Anybody bringing matters to court involving Fred or Mutembo had an uphill battle.
Makebi Zulu and Keith Mweemba should not be thrown off track by the weather-beaten tactics of Fred M’membe who argues individuals instead of issues. This is an old trick that has worked for him in the past but should not do so now.
The prosecution scam run by M’membe in collusion with Nchito in the last decade is deep, complicated and malicious. Many have fallen prey. Many have died, many have lost jobs and indeed many have lost reputations.
This is not a fight for the faint hearted. Ask civil rights activist Brebner Changala. He tasted the wrath of the cartel.
Fred is an inveterate cunning liar who has perfected the art of calumny and if Makebi and Mweemba give up, they will have failed the nation and more importantly they will suffer the consequences. This is a fight they must finish for the good and sanity of the nation.
No Zambian does not know that Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito colluded to prosecute the worst possible criminal prosecution scams this country has ever seen, in the name of fighting corruption. They started by hounding Mukelabai Mukelabai, the late Director of Public Prosecutions, using lies and fabrications that were published in the Post Newspaper, to ingratiate themselves with president Levy Mwanawasa, who unfortunately fell for it, hoping to create a legacy for himself as a corruption champion.
He appointed a tribunal against Mukelabai who was found innocent of the lies and calumny perpetuated by Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito. Sadly it was too late for Mukelabai, who was relieved of his duties and shortly thereafter who died a lonely and miserable death in exile.
The nation missed an opportunity to rid the country of the M’membe/Nchito rot. It was at that time that the Law Association of Zambia should have stopped Mutembo from prosecuting any more matters, given the lies that claimed the career of a brilliant DPP.
As expected in no time Levy, who had appointed Mutembo on the strong editorial recommendation of Fred M’membe, also fell prey when he discovered the fraudulent nature of the so-called “corruption crusade” masterminded by Mark Chona, Fred and Mutembo. He subsequently dismissed Mark Chona and lamented the huge amounts of money that Mutembo was earning for no apparent cause.
This, as the nation will recall, resulted in the most bitter editorials against Levy Mwanawasa. He was called a fool and all manner of deprecation. He was even asked whether the money paid to Mutembo came from his pocket.
Our advice, for whatever it is worth, is to ask all those concerned to allow this matter to take its course. Once this is done Zambians will know the truth about many things including the plunder of resources that were sequestrated by the Task Force on Corruption.