FRED M’membe, the editor of the Post Newspaper must declare interest in the Mutembo Nchito tribunal than continue to posture as an objective and disinterested party. This amounts to duplicity and professional misconduct.
M’membe is seriously conflicted and must declare interest publicly as he was a beneficiary to the US$4.2 million debt owed to Finance Bank, which is subject of investigations by the Tribunal.
He has a direct personal and of corporate interest in charge (a)(1) Mutembo’s charges which states that in bad faith and, in abuse of authority of his office and abuse of the process of court, Mutembo Nchito entered a nolle prosequi in the case of, The People vs. Rajan Mahtani and John Peter Sangwa.
The facts of this matter are that at the end of 2011 Finance Bank was owed US$4.2 million by Fred M’membe, Mutembo Nchito and others.
Early in 2012 Mutembo Nchito who was Director of Public Prosecutions entered a nolle prosequi in the case of Dr. Rajan Mahtani, the owner of Finance Bank which had taken Mutembo and Fred to court for failure to settle the debt.
It was observed that the nolle came about soon after the matter which was being handled by SNB legal practitioners was transferred to Sangwa Simenza legal practitioners, who subsequently prepared a consent order seemingly expunging the debt.
The consent order was signed between Finance Bank on one side and Kieran Day (receiver), JCN Holdings Limited, Post Newspapers Limited, Mutembo Nchito, Nchima Nchito and Fred M’membe.
Technically the matter was expunged from the court, meaning that Finance Bank was no longer interested in pursuing the payment of the $4.2 million in the courts of law.
By the stroke of a pen Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe, seemingly no longer owed Rajan Mahtani’s Finance Bank $4.2 million.
Did this mean that the money was paid back? If not was the amount written off and if so on whose authority, since such huge transactions are ordinarily with the authorization of the Bank of Zambia, which does not seem to have any knowledge of the matter?
An adverse finding could result in serious financial repercussions as the Central Bank is duty bound to protect depositors’ funds.
In short Fred M’membe and the Post Newspapers as signatories to the consent order will suffer financial repercussions if it is discovered that the money was not paid back and that the nolle was in exchange for expunging the debt?
In the circumstances it is only fair and in good order that M’membe and the Post Newspaper keep away from the tribunal instead of disparaging it in the hope that it will be disbanded and the matter abandoned.
There is no such prospect.