Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why are Rupiah, George defending Mchenga?

Why are Rupiah, George defending Mchenga?
By Editor
Thu 24 Dec. 2009, 04:00 CAT

It is political arrogance and short-sightedness for Rupiah Banda to say that the issue of Chalwe Mchenga being accused of failing to honour his constitutional duties as Director of Public Prosecutions "is water past the bridge".

It will not help Rupiah to try and trivialise the demand by the Law Association of Zambia for Mchenga to resign and leave the office he has disgraced. The Law Association of Zambia's demand has the support of many of our people who have been following Mchenga's misdeeds. Rupiah should learn that carelessly dismissing matters that affect our people will not pay him any rewards.

He may be President, holding the most powerful office in our country, but he is still answerable to our people. Rupiah will be made to account sooner rather than later. He will live to regret his arrogant days and wish he had dealt with this issue a lot more soberly.

In the last 12 months, Rupiah has demonstrated that he is hard of hearing. He does not listen to the people or their cries. He is an egocentric president who wants to run a government for himself, by himself for his own benefit. There is no spirit of public service in Rupiah. A public servant would pay particular attention to what the people are saying and address their concerns squarely.

Rupiah's response on Mchenga demonstrates his destructive reliance on minions like George Kunda who are leading him into a ditch with his eyes wide open. This is what explains his statement yesterday when he said as far as he was concerned, the issue of the DPP and the demand of the Law Association of Zambia had been dealt with by George.

How has George dealt with the demand of the Law Association of Zambia which has satisfied Rupiah? As far as we can see, George has not said anything sensible on the matter of the DPP. If anything, all the comments he has made have gone to show that the demands of Law Association of Zambia are legitimate and should be pursued vigorously.

In his first response, George said that the Law Association of Zambia was behaving like members of the PF-UPND pact. In the light of the serious allegations that the Law Association of Zambia brought against Mchenga, this is all that George could say.

The Law Association of Zambia demanded that Mchenga should resign because he allowed the discharge of his functions to be influenced or indeed usurped by the executive. What the Law Association of Zambia was saying amounted to charging the DPP with having breached the Constitution.

And all Kunda could say was that the Law Association of Zambia was behaving like a part of the PF-UPND pact. When his argument was dismissed by PF president Michael Sata as being baseless, George turned his attack on The Post and its editor, accusing us of running a conspiracy to remove DPPs from as far back as 2002 so that The Post could gain control of state power and make money. This is the nonsense George has been peddling. Is this what Rupiah is satisfied with?

The Law Association of Zambia has raised a fundamental question on the conduct of the DPP. Diversionary tactics will not help them. Mudslinging and name-calling will not change the fact that Mchenga has allowed his office to be hijacked by Rupiah and George. Instead of making legal decisions, Mchenga is making political decisions. And in some cases, he is not making decisions at all because it is Rupiah and George who are doing so. We say this because Rupiah himself has told the nation so. With his own mouth, Rupiah told the Zambian people that he had decided not to appeal Frederick Chiluba's acquittal. How could Rupiah make such a decision when the only person mandated by the Constitution to do so is the DPP? Rupiah is not the DPP and there is no provision in our Constitution that allows him or gives him the right to exercise the powers of the DPP.

The only way Rupiah can exercise such powers is by breaking the Constitution. Similarly or equally, the only way Mchenga can allow Rupiah to make such decisions is only by breaking the law, by violating the Constitution. When Rupiah said these things, we are not the only ones who covered him. The Zambia Daily Mail, a newspaper they totally control, carried this story on more than one occasion. Rupiah has never retracted this position. We ask again the question: by which authority did Rupiah stop the appeal against the acquittal of Chiluba and who gave him that authority?

George also made it very clear that he was against Mchenga appealing the acquittal of Chiluba. He said if Mchenga had appealed against Chiluba's acquittal, that would have been professional misconduct. And what are the consequences of the DPP engaging in professional misconduct? Isn't it loss of office? So it must have been very clear to Mchenga that if he had appealed that acquittal his job was going to be over. It's not us implying this; this is what George's statement implies.

Clearly, there is no way Mchenga could have allowed the appeal against Chiluba with these two gentlemen - Rupiah and George - calling the shots, deciding what should be done and making it clear to him that deviations will not be tolerated, will amount to professional misconduct.

Today Mchenga is in trouble with the Law Association of Zambia calling for his resignation over this decision not to appeal Chiluba's acquittal - a decision that was not made by him but by Rupiah and George. Mchenga has been totally quiet over this matter.

And he is right in being quiet because this is not his issue. It is an issue which has to be decided upon and defended by his principals, his masters, his handlers, the people calling the shots. This matter is beyond Mchenga and that's why he is just sitting and waiting for Rupiah and George to decide which way to go. And their decision is that he should stay on whatever the circumstances or consequences. This is understandable.

Rupiah and George are not fighting to defend Mchenga, they are fighting to defend their own criminality. They know that if Mchenga goes today, they will be in serious trouble. It will be a confirmation of their violation of the Constitution. And the consequences that befall a president who violates the Constitution need no further disposition - it is impeachment. This is why Rupiah wants this issue closed as quickly as possible and forgotten as "water past the bridge".

This shouldn't surprise anyone because Rupiah and George never engage in selfless pursuits; they will never fight for others. Any fight they are involved in is always, one way or the other, for their own benefit. They will never stand up to selflessly defend the interest of Mchenga if it is not for their own benefit.

Rupiah and George are so blinded by their own scheming that they cannot even see that their behaviour does not make sense. The call made by the Law Association of Zambia for Mchenga to resign is a call on Mchenga's person. It is Mchenga that the Law Association of Zambia is asking to resign for disgracing his office. The decision to go or stay is Mchenga's; not Rupiah's or George's.

This being the case, does it mean that Mchenga has hired himself to Rupiah and George so much that even decisions that are personal are now being made for him by them? It seems this is the case. If not, how could Rupiah be closing a matter in which Mchenga, the individual who is personally affected or at issue, has not uttered a word in self-defence?

Since when were Rupiah and George tasked to be the personal spokesmen for Mchenga? The crime at issue, the violation that the Law Association of Zambia is talking about has not been committed by the office of the DPP but personally by an individual occupying that office called Mchenga. This being the case, how does Rupiah or George come in? What is the locus standi in the matter?

The whole reaction of Rupiah and George to this matter has once again proved beyond any doubt that Mchenga is not his own man but a captive of Rupiah and George. Mchenga is effectively not the DPP for the Republic, for all the people of Zambia; he is Rupiah's personal DPP - a political stooge carrying out political instructions using a legitimate public office.

The demand for Mchenga's resignation will not be stopped by orders from Rupiah. Rupiah can order Mchenga to stop the appeal against Chiluba but he will not be in a position to order the Law Association of Zambia and other citizens of goodwill to stop their demands for the resignation of Mchenga. This demand will continue, no matter how long it takes, until Mchenga leaves the office he has disgraced.

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