Friday, February 18, 2011

Rupiah directed judiciary to acquit Chiluba - Sondashi

Rupiah directed judiciary to acquit Chiluba - Sondashi
By Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 18 Feb. 2011, 04:01 CAT

THE suspension of a licence for Frederick Chiluba's UK-based lawyers is confirmation that President Rupiah Banda directed the Zambian judiciary to acquit the former president and his colleagues of corruption charges, says Ludwig Sondashi.

Commenting on the suspension of the practicing licence of Mohammed Iqbal Meer by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority in the United Kingdom over his dealings connected to alleged abuse and misappropriation of Zambian public resources, Dr Sondashi called for reduction of presidential powers to avoid the recurrence of what happened in the handling of former president Chiluba's cases where he said President Banda facilitated his acquittal.

"He Chiluba was let free because of the President. The President here dictated to the Judiciary," said Dr Sondashi, a Lusaka-based lawyer. "But I cannot just end there, what we should do in Zambia is to fight that presidential powers must be reduced. That way he will not be able to interfere with the judiciary."

Dr Sondashi said Zambians must not keep on complaining but act to change the laws. He said without reforms on presidential powers, Zambians would just be shooting in the dark.

"We should all aim at divorcing the President from being partisan because if the President continues to be the head of state and head of government, then we are not going to put everything right," said Sondashi.

"The problem here is that as long as you allow the President to be a player in the political field, then these things will not change. The President will continue interfering with the judiciary, parliament, elections, the police and so forth. The President should be above politics."

Mohammed Iqbal Meer is a second lawyer to have his practicing licence suspended over Chiluba's corruption cases.

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