SUSPENDED Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito must stop the habit of maligning innocent people who have served this country with due diligence by dragging them into his corruption and abuse of office allegations, Evangelical Youth Alliance International president Reverend Moses Lungu has demanded.
Commenting on the revelations that Government cleared former Chief Justice Matthew Ngulube of wrongdoing six years ago when it was established that he did not solicit for the US$17 474.15 he received from former President Frederick Chiluba, Rev. Lungu warned Mr. Nchito against taking Zambians for granted.
“Who is Mutembo Nchito? Why does this man want to drag innocent people into his corruption and abuse of office allegations? What is his agenda to demand that former Chief Justices Ngulube and Ernest Sakala should not be part of the tribunal to probe him? Why does he want to embarass people who have served this country diligently?”
Rev. Lungu said that demands by Mr. Nchito to have Justice Ngulube recuse himself from the tribunal were unjustifiable because he was cleared by Government of any wrongdoing.
The clergyman also said it was unreasonable for Mr. Nchito to make such demands when he himself had refused to recuse himself in matters involving former President Rupiah Banda after it was observed that he was deeply conflicted.
He said the tactics he had employed to derail the proceedings of the tribunal would not help him achieve his goals because Zambians knew the kind of person he was.
“It is very clear that Mr. Nchito and his friends have planned this whole scheme to mess up and embarrass these honourable former judges on the tribunal. But this will not work because the people of Zambia are interested in knowing how much money was stolen and who stole the money,” said Rev. Lungu.
He said it was Mr. Nchito’s time to answer to all allegations of corruption and abuse of office levelled against him, adding that attempts to divert the attention of the people from serious issues would not help him at all.
“All these are attempts to scandalize people; this is not fair. This is total blackmail aimed at instilling fear in judges. That is why one of his friends went to court and described charges against him as foolish charges. What kind of people is this group?” wondered Rev. Lungu.
He said it was time for Mr. Nchito to explain to the nation what he knew about the Zamtroop account and the US$50 000 he is alleged to have pocketed through the Zambian Airways.
Rev. Lungu said that the suspended DPP was wicked because he took pride in seeing innocent people who had worked tirelessly to improve the livelihood of so many people suffer in the manner former DPP Mukelabai Mukelabai suffered.
After ferocious attacks from the Post Newspaper inspired by suspended Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito accusing him of having received US$ 168,000 from President Chiluba, Justice Ngulube stepped down to allow for investigations.
Subsequent investigations revealed that President Chiluba, in fact, paid US$ 17,474:15 to schools where Justice Ngulube had sent his children.
This is according to an agreement dated April 16, 2009 which was co-signed by six parties which included Justice Ngulube, Director of Public Prosecutions Chalwe Mchenga and Task Force on Corruption executive chairperson Maxwell Nkole (late).
Others were Sydney Siafwa, a police officer, Diamond Likashi, coordinator of operation of the TaskForce on Corruption and Mr James Mwanakaile from the DPP’s office.
The matter was investigated by the Task Force on Corruption established by President Levy Mwanawasa (late) and Mr Nchito was the lead investigator.
After it was established that Justice Ngulube did not know the source of the money he was given by Dr Chiluba, it was agreed by the parties that as a way of effecting closure to the matters surrounding the receipt of the money, the former Chief Justice should refund it into a Government fund.
“By the act of payment alone, this matter is brought to a close and the said Mathew Micha Samson Wathaba Ngulube is cleared of any wrong- doing in his former office of the Chief Justice of Zambia,” the agreement reads.
Mr Nchito has argued that Justice Ngulube cannot sit on the Annel Silungwe tribunal because he was allegedly conflicted because he benefited from the Zamtrop account.
He however avoids stating his Zambian Airway was a beneficiary of US$50,000 too.
Mr Nchito does not also state whether he refunded the money when he learnt it was public funds.