The recent behavior of Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito will face serious scrutiny by a special group of MP’s involved in the fight against corruption, according to a local Tabloid, the Weekly Guardian.
The African Parliamentarians against Corruption (APNAC) Zambia Chapter will sit for a special session once Parliament resumes sitting and examine the recent behavior by Nchito.
This follows reports of the maneuvers by Nchito and his associates to force management at the Development Bank of Zambia to discontinue a matter in which he was later ordered to pay back 14 billion kwacha in public debt by the Lusaka High Court.
Lusaka High Court Judge Nigel Mutuna had passed judgment against JCN Holdings, Post Newspapers Limited and Mutembo Nchito and ordered them to pay DBZ K14 billion but reports are emerging that Nchito wanted to use his powers as DPP to force DBZ to discontinue the case.
This is in a matter where DBZ sued Post Newspapers Limited, JCN Holdings and Nchito in connection with the loan which was obtained by the defunct Zambian Airways.
Judge Mutuna ordered in his judgment that JCN Holdings, Post Newspapers Limited and Nchito pay K14 billion sought by DBZ.
“The said sum is to attract interest as agreed in the undertakings calculated at 182 days GRZ Treasury Bill rate, plus eight per cent margin or a floor rate of 20 per cent per annum, whichever is higher, from date of writ of summons to date of judgment. Thereafter, the current bank lending rate as determined by the Bank of Zambia,” stated judge Mutuna in his 29-page judgment.
But APNAC Zambia Chairperson Cornelius Mweetwa said the conduct of the DPP is a matter that has raised concern among members of APNAC.
Mweetwa who is also UPND Choma Central MP observed that the office of the DPP is a key institution in criminal prosecutions in Zambia hence the need to have office bearers who are above board.
“As APNAC, I can confirm that we have taken keen interest in the conduct of our DPP and we will be meeting o come up with a position as soon as Parliament reconvenes,” Mweetwa said.
He said in a democratic setting like Zambia’s, it is troubling to have a DPP who has a questionable standing in the eyes of the public.
“We need a DPP who is above reproach,” Mweetwa stated.
“It is therefore important that those holding such key offices be of good standing in society.”
Mweetwa said APNAC members have been following the reports of misconduct on the part of Nchito and will a common position will be reached on the matter once the members meet.
“As APNAC, the conduct of public officials especially key officers is crucially especially to the country’s fight against corruption, we need to have a team of men and women that do not have any blotches on them if we are to really fight corruption,” Mweetwa said.