Saturday, May 29, 2010

All is now becoming clear for all to see

All is now becoming clear for all to see
By Editor
Sat 29 May 2010, 04:00 CAT

IT can no longer be denied that Frederick Chiluba presided over the most corrupt regime in the history of our country.

Almost all the key people in his government have been found wanting in one way or another. All his generals have been convicted for corruption. And this week the entire top leadership of his Ministry of Finance has been found to be corrupt and accordingly convicted.

Even private citizens like Faustin Kabwe who were Chiluba’s financial advisors have also been found wanting and accordingly convicted for corruption and theft of public funds. Every court where Faustin and his accomplices have gone, they have been found wanting. The London High Court found them wanting and our own courts have convicted all of them for corruption and theft. Can all these courts, all these magistrates and judges be said to have issues with these characters, to harbour any hatred or grudges against them?

These are the characters Rupiah Banda has turned into friends and is today trying to protect in all sorts of ways. Why? The Zambian people need to reflect and meditate deeply over why Rupiah has been telling them that Chiluba was “a damn good president” when he knows very well that Chiluba presided over the robbery and plunder of government resources. Rupiah also knows very well that Chiluba was found to have abused Zambian tax payers’ money in the case which the Zambian government took to the London High Court. And that judgment, and all its details, are in Rupiah’s hands.

All these convictions bring into question magistrate Jones Chinyama’s acquittal of Chiluba. There’s no doubt that Chiluba’s acquittal was not right. And this was clearly shown in the grounds of appeal that were filed by the prosecutor but subsequently withdrawn by Chalwe Mchenga, the Director of Public Prosecutions, in complicity with his political masters. Enough analysis of Chinyama’s judgment has been made by very competent legal brains and it has been found to be highly jaundiced. And as has been stated before, it is very difficult to accept that Chinyama’s acquittal of Chiluba was simply a failure of legal judgment on his part. It rather looks much more to have been a deliberate decision to do so. And this is a matter that we think Chinyama will need to be probed for in the future and tell the nation what really happened.

There’s nobody who is not accountable to the people. Every public officer, whatever their constitutional protections, is in the final analysis accountable to the people. What makes Chinyama’s acquittal of Chiluba even more questionable is the behaviour of Rupiah, his own conduct following this acquittal. Rupiah was already asking the Zambian people to accept the judgment in Chiluba’s case before even the magistrate had finished reading it. Rupiah did not hide his pleasure at that acquittal and immediately started a campaign that was joined by some of his ministers to legitimatise it. And in tandem Chalwe Mchenga withdrew the appeal against that acquittal. This was clearly not an independent decision by Mchenga but one that was taken by Rupiah. And Rupiah made it clear that it was him who had stopped the appeal. There’s a prima facie case of corruption over Chiluba’s acquittal for which Chinyama, Mchenga, Rupiah and George Kunda should be made to account. We know that Rupiah has immunity but the time will come for him to be stripped of his immunity and made to answer for this gross abuse of power to protect corrupt elements.

But things don’t stop here. There’s still the matter of Xavier Chungu. Xavier was a key element in the corruption that rocked Chiluba’s regime. Today Xavier is a free man interacting with these same people freely and he is part of their political strategies. It is clear that Rupiah’s government does not want Xavier to be prosecuted. They are clearly seeking a way to let him off the hook. And this explains why Mchenga decided to terminate the services of prosecutors who clearly understood this case. Part of the reason is to ensure that Xavier is not effectively and efficiently prosecuted, if ever he is prosecuted. These matters are not simple cases. These are issues of grand corruption and they require a lot of time to study and understand them. A new prosecutor will have a lot of difficulties to understand these matters and may be at sea for a long time and consequently lose the cases.

Therefore, there’s need for the Zambian people to take a keen interest over these matters and ensure that what needs to be done is done and no one gets away with corruption. And as we said yesterday, short of violence, everything should be used to confront corruption.

Members and supporters of MMD should learn to place their country and their party above individuals. It is clear that the current leadership of their party is a corrupt one, it is one which defends and supports corrupt elements. For a long time their party’s chief executive officer was a corrupt element. And as things stand today, Katele Kalumba is still their party’s secretary general.

Despite his conviction for corruption, the MMD has not repudiated or suspended him. Their acting party president, Rupiah, is on record defending corrupt elements. What does this say of the MMD and its leadership? It is nothing but a corrupt party led by corrupt elements and serving the interest of corruption – it is a party of the corrupt, by the corrupt, for the corrupt.

These are not people who can be trusted to lead this country and preside over its resources. They will steal them. Whatever they do is accompanied by corruption because wherever they go, they are accompanied by corrupt people like Chiluba. What can one think of a political party and government whose chief consultant is Chiluba – a disgraced, an unrepentant and shameless thief?

What can Chiluba advise Rupiah and the MMD? What can Chiluba teach them other than corruption and abuse? They have turned to Chiluba to learn how to abuse public resources and offices. That’s all they can learn from Chiluba because he has nothing else to offer other than corruption and abuse. But where will this take them? If the MMD wants to survive as a political party, there’s need for them to revert to honest leadership and honest politics. This corrupt leadership they are clinging to will destroy them and their party. It is a leadership without morals; it is a leadership without ethics. It is a leadership that doesn’t hesitate to resort to criminality for political survival. Look at their defence of the crimes of their cadres! They don’t hesitate to kill, maim to win an election. They are going on as if it’s business as usual after presiding over the deaths and injuries of so many people in the Mufumbwe parliamentary by-election. And they are not even ashamed to petition the result of that by-election and are accusing the UPND of violence. They know very well that they were behind the violence that rocked the Mufumbwe campaigns, but they are not ashamed to blame others for it. It is the same things they are doing over their protection and defence of Chiluba’s corruption. They know very well what they have done, but they still want to go and accuse other people of hatred for Chiluba.

They are not even shamed to come out and attack a prosecutor they themselves had hired to take charge of the corruption cases. It is now easier for everyone to understand why they have been going around attacking Mutembo Nchito, a man they had hired to prosecute the cases of these corrupt elements. Instead of celebrating the efficient, effective and orderly manner in which Mutembo has conducted with these prosecutions and the near 100 per cent record convictions he has achieved, all they have for him is hatred, slander and harassment. Why?

It is because he has helped to secure the convictions of their friends, their political allies. It was too late to stop him but nevertheless they had to do something to ensure that he doesn’t prosecute Xavier and he is not there to argue the appeals lest their friends will stand no chance of escape. That’s all it is to all this. But whatever they say, whatever they do, they will never succeed in taking away the fact that Mutembo has discharged his duties with sufficient honour, integrity, efficiency, effectiveness and orderliness. For this the defenders and supporters of the corrupt like George and Mchenga are choking with envy and jealousy. They will never have such a record.

We are saying all these things not to ridicule them but to help the Zambian people understand what is going on in their country and why things are happening the way they are. As we have stated before, there’s a lot to say on these issues and more will be said as days go by.

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