Former president Rupiah Banda has won a major legal battle after a Lusaka Magistrate court ruled that Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito couldn’t be the one prosecuting him due to conflict of interest.
This is in a case in which Mr. Banda applied that his corruption case involving motor vehicles be referred to the High Court for determination on whether Nchito can prosecute the matter or not.
Mr. Banda contended that he would not receive a fair trial as DPP Nchito was biased in the matter. Nchito’s bias results rom the collapse of his Zambian Airways, which he attributed to Mr Banda when he was republican president.
Mr. Banda’s lawyers had also argued that history and precedents in other matters showed that former heads of state had never been prosecuted by the DPP.
Cases in point include the prosecution of late president Fredrick Chiluba who was prosecuted by then a private lawyer Mutembo Nchito himself other than the DPP, while former president Kenneth Kaunda was also prosecuted for treason charges by a private lawyer.
When the matter came up for ruling on Friday morning, Magistrate Obbister Musukwa ruled in favour of Mr. Banda that DPP Nchito should not try him and that the matter be referred to the High Court for determination of constitutional matters.
The case has since been adjourned indefinitely.
With this ruling, Mr. Banda can now apply that the cartel of Mutembo Nchito and Fred Mmembe should not be involved in persecuting him at any level.