IT is absolutely untenable for Mutembo Nchito to continue as Director of Public Prosecutions for this country.
As a matter of urgency we hope that an acting DPP can be appointed under Article 57 of the Constitution while the fate of the incumbent is decided. This is vital to bring sanity, stability and confidence to the criminal justice system.
The first agenda item for the new DPP will be to investgate the nolle proseque that Mutembo Nchito has granted himself and all other nolles to determine their validity. This will pave way for his prosecution. Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito will remember that they did the same to Health permanent secretary Kashiwa Bulaya when they reversed a nolle proffered by then DPP now High court Judge Chalwe Mchenga.
The two argued at the time that the court process should have been allowed to conclude instead of offering a nolle which was considered to be corrupt and political.
It is very sad and alarming that the desperation by Fred M’membe for his partner Mutembo to hold on to the office has reached new lows, resulting in the abuse of the media to advance puerile and at worst Ad Hominem arguments to defend the undefendable conduct of his business partner.
It should be remembered that it is not the lawyers that have brought Mutembo to court who are on trial. On the contrary it is Mutembo who must prove his innocence. Attacking the personalities of Lewis Mosho, Makebi Zulu, Keith Mweemba and Newton Ngu’ni will not advance Mutembo’s quest for clearance. This effort to discredit personalities is shallow and inconsequential because any individual with a modicum of education will recognize the trickery for what it really is – namely an attempt to divert attention from the truth.
This strategy is often used for propaganda purposes by individuals who have no argument. It is intended to appeal to emotion rather than logic, particularly when they have a very poor logical argument as the case is with Mutembo.
There is no question that Mutembo has exposed himself for what he truly is and has subsequently single-handedly armed the President of the Republic with a valid reason for his immediate removal from office pending a final decision about his fate. He knows for certain that there is no way he can remain DPP. This is the end of the road.
The office of DPP is too critical to the criminal justice system to remain vacant while Government decides the fate of the incumbent. At the same time it is not tenable for Mutembo to remain in that position given his recent criminal conduct.
His removal from office and the constitution of a tribunal are two different actions governed by two separate articles of the Constitution and must be dealt with as such.
Under Article 57 the President can remove the DPP and appoint an acting officer for any reason. The Article (57) reads.. “Whenever the Director of Public Prosecutions is absent from Zambia or the President considers it desirable so to do by reason of the illness of the Director of Public Prosecutions or for any other cause, he may on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, appoint any person to discharge the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions until such appointment is revoked”.
We believe that the conduct of Mutembo to breach the conflict of interest in awarding himself a nolle prosequi is sufficient ground to have him removed from office for prosecution for abuse of authority and office.
If anything his conduct precludes him from any future public office, which demands integrity and high standard of morality.
The impression being created that Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito are so powerful that they can disregard the law and get away with it is very dangerous, because it imperils our governance in general and judiciary in particular.
Nobody should be allowed to treat our courts with the impertinence and brazen disregard that Mutembo showed to Magistrate Lameck Mwale.