PRESIDENT LUNGU SHOULD CLEARLY IDENTIFY HIMSELF IN GOVERNANCE

Edgar and RB

MALIGNANT PROPAGANDA AND GOVERNANCE

14th May, 2015

As an organization that promotes Good Governance, Access to Justice and Human Rights, we are concerned with a number of issues bordering on malicious propaganda, perpetuated by various different groups. This propaganda has the potential of bringing hatred in the Country making it difficult for elected leaders to rule.

MALIGNANT PROPAGANDA

It has come to our realization that while Zambians voted for one President, our Country is being steered in different directions by various groupings or individuals with ulterior motives.

These groups are busy fighting for political power and control of this nation using the legitimate elected leadership. In their fighting for power and control, they have employed methods of vilification, malice and intimidation using State machinery and looted money.

It must be noted that this situation is not just peculiar to President Edgar Lungu’s rule, but it has been there even in the preceding leaderships. However, we are living in the present, as we refer to the past.

The situation in the Country is such that for one to enjoy life as free citizens entitled to what the Country can offer, you must belong to one of these groups and support all the agendas without questioning. The moment you question anything you are considered to be a rebel, an outcast and therefore must be vanquished

The Zambian Voice does not speak in obscurity but in objectivity and Truthfulness, therefore we would like to mention some of these groupings and individuals that we have identified based on our experience.

Group 1

This is a group commonly known as the “Cartel”, this group carries names like Fred M’membe of The Post Newspaper, Mutembo Nchito our embattled Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Rajan Mathan Chairman of the Mathan Group of Companies and all those that associate or sympathize with these people.

This group is accused and hated by some citizens for wanting to control the leadership of this Country. The group was accused of having held Late President Sata hostage in State House.  The thorny issue relating to this group is the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) 15 million loan which is currently in court.

Mutembo Nchito as DPP has been accused to have prosecuted a number of people from other groups maliciously.

Mathan has been accused of being ruthless and canny in his dealings but he seemed to have burnt his fingers when his Bank grabbed a house of Rupiah Banda before he became a President. He is also accused of not having helped PF financially in the last elections.

Fred M’membe is accused of partnering with Mutembo in the DBZ loan but mostly he is hated for exposing the alleged corruption cases and calling the members of the other group (group 2) as corrupt and convicts.

During the last Presidential campaigns President Lungu referred to this group as “Bamukukulu” (crooks) who needed to be sorted out.

Group 2

The other group of people is associated with people like former President Rupiah Banda (RB), Henry Banda (son of RB), Richard Sakala of the Daily Nation, Brebner Changala a civil activist, Lucky Mulusa who is Presidential  Assistant on Projects (Mulusa is former Solwezi Central MP and a very close ally of RB), Lawyer Lewis Musho and other associates surrounding RB.

This group under the leadership of RB is the one that seems to be enjoying State privileges and favours after the death of Sata and the installation of President Lungu. President Lungu seems to have a lot of loyalty to RB because of the help RB rendered for Lungu to win the last Presidential election.

It seems a set of deliverables have been drawn between RB and the President (like the ones drawn between Dr. Nevers Mumba and RB which the former back peddled on at the last minute).

The group is also highly accused of corruption starting with RB who is in court for various charges of corruption.  His son also, Henry Banda, has been a fugitive out of the Zambia since the coming in of Mr. Mutembo Nchito as DPP during President Sata’s rule. Mr. Nchito has been passionately on RB and his associates to prosecute them for corruption that he even brought in witnesses from Nigeria to testify.

Mr. Brebner Changala is at the centre of the Tribunal set up to investigate Mutembo Nchito (which Mr. Changala has called fake in our presence), while Lucky Mulusa and Lewis Musho are pulling strings to remove the DBZ loan out of court to corner Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe.

Lewis Musho is implicated in the Shoprite saga involving colossal sums of money (something like the Austin Liato style). The case is still in court and since the suspension of Mutembo Nchito, there seem to be changes in the prosecution team. Musho recently even filed a counter suit against Shoprite for causing freeze on his accounts.

Mr. Musho recently got married to another woman and hired most (if not the entire) of Protea Hotel in Chisamba to entertain, feed and accommodate his wedding guests. He is also serious PF sympathizer

Group 3

This group is mostly composed of the President and his aides in the name of Mr. Chilubanama – State House Permanent Secretary, Mr. Kaizer Zulu – Political Advisor (who was recently cleared by Anti-Corruption Commission after the The Post Newspaper  carried the story of him being investigated) Mr. Mulenga Sata –  State House Deputy Minister and Mr. Amos Chanda – Presidential Press Assistant.

This group is accused of enjoying a lot of favours and Privileges than any other members in the PF by virtue of being in State. While none of them has been prosecuted of corruption, Mr. Kaizer Zulu is believed to have been fired by Late President Sata for interfering with Fertilizer supply at the ministry of Agriculture where he instructed a named PS to cancel the due process and pick a preferred supplier. He is also alleged to have intimidated RTSA staff to award a contract to a company of his choice. A number of PF members and business associates have also complained of having given him money for favors which he has never delivered.

EXHORTATIONS

The Zambian Voice is concerned by this scenario, because it is a recipe of Bad Governance, corruption and inequality.

Without prejudice we would like to urge the Zambian citizens and other stakeholders, not to be easily fooled by any of these groups or individuals by their propaganda and manipulations.

The public must becareful to look at the accusing finger before believing everything else they become accomplices to malice and injustice. We humbly ask citizens and stakeholders to make a reflection and review their opinions on any groups or individuals because they may have been misled positively or negatively.

Actually we want to admit that we have been victims of malicious propaganda of vilifying others, not knowing that we were being used to launder corrupt people who have taken advantage of the poor Zambians to look clean in the eyes of the public. It is therefore not our call to persuade citizens whether to believe or not, any of the groups or individuals.

The issues we have raised here are not just hearsay but there is truth behind it. We don’t want citizens to fall into the trap of another cartel met to vilify, malign and destroy the fellow citizens. The decision has to be made by Zambians after reflecting on facts available.

We would also like to urge President Lungu to clearly define his identity and values in his governance. He is trending a dangerous path aligning himself with people smelling corruption unless he is the beneficiary of the corrupt activities.

It would also be our humble appeal to RB to withdraw completely from politics and machinations so that the Zambian citizens can confer on him that Statemanship he deserves. It is not fair for us young people to be talking about him in acrimonious issues. We are more comfortable to talk about Dr. Nevers Mumba because he is our contemporary, an elder brother. MMD’s future right now is in jeopardy because of RB gorilla politics.

We would also like to exhort the Judiciary to be impartial because these unscrupulous people want to use them to legitimize wrong things. Justice should not have a face. Courts are places where all citizens, poor and rich run to for justice. So if our magistrates and judges are going to be looking at faces and pockets of people, the poor and the persecuted will have nowhere to go.

May God bless us all.

Zambia:  Religion, Politics and the State

Introduction

Recently, a Mr. Patrick Mungo, an aspiring Member of Parliament for Munali constituency, advised the Zambian government to enact a law that would restrain the construction of Mosques and the growth of Islam in the country because, according to him, “Zambia is a Christian Nation … guided and governed by the Ten Commandments.”

Mr. Mungo is certainly not alone in his interpretation of the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation by Dr. Frederick Chiluba at State House on 29th December 1991, which was later incorporated into the Preamble of the 1996 Republican constitution.

And he is neither the first nor the last Zambian to interpret the Declaration in this manner. Prof. Venkatesh Seshamani has, for example, described what happened soon after Dr. Chiluba made the Declaration in the following words:

“One can recollect the attempt to ban Islamic programs from television and radio soon after Chiluba made the Declaration. Besides, one cannot forget the Livingstone episode in which the Hindu Temple and the Islamic Mosque were destroyed.”

Well, this partly explains why I have previously expressed my opposition to the inclusion of the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation in the Republican constitution.

In this article, I again wish to share my views on the subject of religion, politics and the State.

The Constitution Should Be Neutral

It is important for national leaders to guard against the imposition of any particular religion on the entire society. The Republican constitution particularly should be a neutral document that should not discriminate against atheists, agnostics or pagans, or those who believe in Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Jainism, or the Baha’i faith.

In the long run, the Declaration is likely to make non-Christian citizens to feel that they are second-class citizens. And, as Prof. Venkatesh Seshamani has argued, a feeling of religious superiority is likely to develop among Christians by virtue of their religion having been accorded constitutional status, which may lead to bigotry that would prompt them to view non-Christians as lost souls.

Clearly, the Declaration was made without consideration of the dangers of dragging religion into the political arena. Religion is deadly if it is not handled with utmost caution. The precarious problem currently facing Algeria, Nigeria, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and a host of other countries around the world which are beleaguered by religious conflicts should serve as a clear warning to each and every peace-loving Zambian to refrain from creating a similar situation that will dog our beloved country in perpetuity.

We should not be blinded by our having experienced no serious religious conflicts so far, but as our country’s population and the membership of each religious denomination swells, we would be short­sighted not to anticipate and make an earnest effort to forestall the incidence of such conflicts. In other words, we need to act proactively.

To wait until the consequences of our failure to reason are upon us is to leave serious religion-based problems for future generations to grapple with. And such failure will eventually prove to us that experience, in relation to this issue, teaches fools, since we have thus far not been able to see beyond our noses.

The Holy Land Is Not a Christian Nation!
There is no country in the world today that can claim to be a Christian nation in its national constitution other than the State of Israel. But, unfortunately, the Holy Land (God’s chosen country, according to the Holy Bible) DOES NOT even have an official religion! And only 3% of Israelis are designated as being Christian, while 3% are designated as being Druze, 18% as being Muslim, and 76% are designated as belonging to Judaism (which is based on the books of the Old Testament and does not recognize Jesus as Savior).

By the way, there are more Mosques and Muslims in Israel than there will probably ever be in Zambia over the next 100 years! And, needless to say, modern-day Jews (whose religion is Judaism rather than Christianity) are the descendants of the family of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Zambia Should Be a “Secular State”!

What Zambia needs, therefore, is a secular state that genuinely recognizes and safeguards each and every individual’s freedom of worship and the freedom to choose one’s religion. At the same time, we should actively DISCOURAGE the following in a deliberate effort to forestall the potential disruption of public order and socio-economic activities by cliques of fanatics from any of our country’s religious denominations:
(a) The use of public funds by a local or national government to set up a church or mosque, and/or to provide any form of support to any given religious group, institution or activity;
(b) Official participation by government leaders in the affairs of any given religious group or institution, or official participation by any given religious leader or group in political or governmental affairs;
(c) The use of a religious platform by any individual or group of individuals to form a political party;
(d) The use of a religious platform by any individual to seek a leadership position in any of the three branches of government – that is, the legislature, the judiciary and the executive;
(e) Inclusion of denominational religious subjects in the curricula of schools funded by the government;
(f) Subjection of candidates for election or appointment to public office to a religious test expressly or otherwise requiring them to declare their religious affiliations;
(g) Desecration of any religious symbols or objects by any member or members of Zambian society;
(h) Religious sermons or statements by any individual or group of individuals belonging to any given religious grouping or denomination which are contemptuous to, or are designed to slight, other religious groupings or denominations; and
(i) Conducting of religious sermons or ceremonies involving ten or more people in non-religious public arenas without a police permit, or conducting such activities on public modes of transportation that are not chartered by groups involved.

With these kinds of safeguards, a government does not need to place any restrictions on the construction of Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, or any other houses of worship, or have restraints on the expansion of any religious denomination.

If we fail to enact pieces of legislation designed to protect government institutions and the political arena from the influences of religion, we could actually be sowing the seeds of deadly religion-based conflicts.

Prevention Is Better than Cure

There is a need for Zambia to consider all religious groupings as being equal before the law in the same manner as individual citizens who are members of such groupings are considered. In countries where government leaders have not provided for safeguards against the captivating influences of religion in governance and politics mainly due to lack of foresight, violent clashes among religious groups in their quest to dominate the political sphere, and to impose their religious laws on the citizenry, have become exceedingly difficult to contain.
As an age-old maxim advises us, prevention is better than cure; and a law that treats all religious denominations equally and impartially would be a good start in this regard, even if there are currently more Zambians who profess to be Christians. The religious chauvinism, extremism and fundamentalism portrayed by the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation is a recipe for bloody religion-based conflict in the long run.
There is a need for us to craft a Republican constitution that will enable us to create a socio-economic environment in which religious diversity is appreciated, tolerated and celebrated – a constitution that, to reiterate, considers all religious denominations as being equal before the law, and, therefore, does not seem to favor any particular religious denomination.
In all, the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation is hateful, and it is offensive to non-Christians. It is divisive, and it will eventually be exploited by extremists in our midst to fan tension and skirmishes among our people. And it will, no doubt, become an important tool for recruiting non-Christians by non-Christian extremists in their worldwide diabolical schemes.
We need to take a fresh look at the Declaration through the eyes of non-Christians. In other words, we need to put ourselves in their shoes in order to understand their potential fears, feelings and reaction to the Declaration.

And we need to be aware that non-Christians are keenly watching us from the sidelines, but sooner or later, they will rise and demand to be recognized as bona fide citizens and worshippers who need to be treated as equals in their country’s constitution.
By the way, we are all God’s children regardless of the different ways through which we worship Him, or the different reasons we give for not worshipping Him. And on judgment day, we shall all be judged as individuals and not as citizens of any particular country, such as Zambia or Israel, Nigeria or China, the United States or Cuba, and so forth.

Separation of Religion and the State

Freedom of worship, as well as the choice of one’s religion, is one of the basic individual rights which every government leader in Zambia needs to formally recognize and safeguard. How­ev­er, there is an apparent need for our beloved country to introduce laws designed to keep religion out of political and public affairs, laws which should ban religious activities and programs which have the poten­tial to indoctri­nate credulous members of society.

Obviously, this does not imply that religious denomina­tions in Zambia should not freely advocate their values, beliefs, and causes as interest groups. In a truly democratic society, any and all societal groups should have a right to seek to be heard in govern­mental decision-making, and to articulate their demands on the government and society’s other groups and institutions.

The rationale for pieces of legislation designed to keep religion out of politics, educa­tion, and other public spheres of society that wholly or partly fall under the auspices of the govern­ment is to forestall the potential disruption of public order and socio-eco­nomic activities by cliques of fanatics from any of our beloved countr­y’s religious denomina­tions.

Such legislation is particular­ly critical for our country, where efforts by the govern­ment to break the bondage of the majority of citizens to misery, want, and destitution is likely to be thwarted partly by violent clashes among religious sects.

We could, therefore, do well to pick a leaf from a 1947 United States Supreme Court dicta, which expand­ed the scope of the First Amend­ment clause pertaining to “The Establish­ment of Religion” to include the doctrine of “Separation of Church and State.” According to the dictates of the doctrine, a local or the Federal govern­ment cannot do any of the follow­ing, which are cited in a book by J. M. Burns and J. W. Peltason:

(a) Set up a church, pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another;

(b) Force or influence a person to go or not to go to church, or force him or her to profess a belief or a disbelief in any religion;

(c) Levy taxes to support any religious activities or institu­tions, whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion; or

(d) Openly or secretly partic­ipate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa.

And, to reiterate, we need to consider prohibit­ing the formation of religious-based political par­ties. Also, we need to prohibit reli­gious groups from making contemptuous remarks about the beliefs and/or practices of other religious denominations. If not prevented, there is no doubt that alterca­tions among our country’s religious groups concerning the truth­fulness of their different faiths will eventually trigger very serious con­flicts in the country.

In all, I am confident that religious institutions in Zambia will conti­nue to provide the moral and spiritual direction to our nation in an era that has been high-jacked by unprece­dent­ed violence and moral decay, and to articulate the people’s demands on the government for a more democratic, more peaceful, more prosperous, and more egalitarian socie­ty.
What Really Is a “Secular State”?

In the ensuing paragraphs, I wish to discuss briefly the nature of a “secular state,” much of which I have excerpted and adapted from Wikipedia.

Essentially, a “secular state” is a nation-state or a country that purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. It also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of the nature of their religious beliefs, and it does not have an official religion.

In other words, the term “secular state” refers to a nation-state or a country that honors individuals’ freedom of worship, prevents religion from interfering with governmental decision-making, and excludes it from the realms of governance and/or the exercise of political power.

And laws in such a nation-state protect each and every individual (including religious minorities) from discrimination on the basis of one’s religious affiliation.
Basically, a “secular state” is not an atheistic nation-state that officially denies the existence of God. In some “secular states” (such as Thailand and Turkey), there can be a dominant religion, while in others (such as India and Lebanon), there can be great religious diversity.

Some “secular states” may even have de facto official religions (such as Indonesia and Peru), where some government officials have to belong to certain religious denominations even though the country and its government does not officially support any religious denomination.

Views on the Subject from Other Authors

A lot of people have written about the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation, either in support or against the Declaration. For the purposes of this discussion, however, I have provided the following statements from two authors which are against the Declaration:

1)  Paraphrased from Fr. Peter Henriot:

“Being a Christian in a Christian Nation,” Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection: http://www.jctr.org.zm/, December 2, 1998:

Theologically, what does it mean to say that a political entity such as a nation is declared to be Christian? Certainly, you cannot baptize a nation. And we cannot expect the profession of the Apostle’s Creed to be made by a nation, nor can a nation perform a liturgical act of Christian worship!

Constitutionally, does this legally establish a formal state religion? Does the inclusion of the declaration in the Constitution thereby preclude a non-Christian from becoming President? After all, the oaths of elective public offices require incumbents to uphold the Constitution, and would we be asking non-Christian candidates to put their consciences to the test of Christian support?

2)  Paraphrased from Prof. Venkatesh Seshamani:

“A Hindu View of the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation,” http://www.sedos.org/english/seshamani.htm/, Ref: JCTR, Number 46, 4th Quarter 2000:

By virtue of their religion being uniquely accorded constitutional status, a feeling of religious superiority can develop among Christians in the country. The greater danger would be if this feeling of religious superiority degenerates into bigotry that prompts one to look at all non-Christians as lost souls that need to be saved. One can recollect the attempt to ban Islamic programs from television and radio soon after Chiluba made the Declaration.

Besides, one cannot forget the Livingstone episode in which the Hindu temple and the Islamic mosque were destroyed.

The danger that all non-Christians may be branded as dangerous or as satanic cannot be ruled out. Although no material change has occurred for the Hindu community so far since and as a result of the Declaration, what assurance is there that this will be the case in the future as well, especially when the present leaders are no longer there?

The author, Mr. Henry Kyambalesa, is a Zambian academician currently living in the City and County of Denver in the State of Colorado, USA. He is the Interim President of the Agenda for Change (AfC) Party.

MUTEMBO TRIBUNAL TO BE HELD IN THE OPEN NOT IN CAMERA

Mutembo and Tribunal

Notwithstanding the issues that we have raised in the past concerning the Tribunal set to investigate the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)  Mr. Mutembo Nchito, we have considered, after a lot of consultation and counsel, that the Tribunal should go on as set up by H.E. Edgar Changwa Lungu.

However, we would like to note that the Mutembo Nchito Tribunal is of high public interest considering the various events that preceded it. Therefore all the processes must be done with utmost diligence and transparency.

There have been a lot of statements and debates in the public domain concerning the DPP as regards to his prior arrests in Chongwe and in Lusaka.

There has also been high publicity and debate on the Terms of Reference, especially on the nolles entered by the DPP on his own behalf and other selected citizens.

 We have also noted accusations and counter accusations among the State and the official complainant (Mr. Brebner Changala) as in who drew the ToR.

The judiciary has also not been spared from the fiasco where judges like Judge Chitabo, have been verbally attacked and censored by the Patriotic Front Secretary General Mr. Davies Chama.

It must also be noted, in the interest of justice that some members of the Tribunal have been perceived to be biased by their association with the State or by the remarks expressed  to some members of the public including to the undersigned of this statement. However, we want to give them the benefit of doubt as eminent and principled judges who will rise above their personal issues and look at adduced evidence in the presence of the general public.

We therefore earnestly pray that the Tribunal will receive evidence in public so that the citizens will have no doubt in their minds on the conclusion that will be drawn at the end of the sittings.

We would also like to urge Mr. Mutembo Nchito to welcome the Tribunal as an opportunity for him to clear his name in the face of the allegations levied against him.

To emphasize our position we have written to the Mutembo Tribunal expressing our concerns and prayer.

Further, we would like to urge the President H.E Edgar Lungu to ensure that the Judicial Complaint Commission (JCC) is strengthened so that it can be effective to deal with complaints from citizens, especially the poor who have no any other recourse in the face of injustice.

In the past the JCC has not been satisfactory active and effective, rendering the justice system inadequate to deal with all possible scenarios of access to Justice.

May the Just God enlighten the minds of the members of the Tribunal to dispense justice.

Chilufya Tayali

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ZAMBIA’S MARCH 2015 TRADE DEFICIT TUMBLES UP BY 189% – WAKE UP CALL – CTPD

CTPD Logo

The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) notes with great concern Zambia’s trade performance in the first quarter of 2015. Lookingat the March trade deficit of K310 million, note the deficit has increased by ZMW 202.7 million from February 2015, an increase that is almost double the February 2015 deficit which stood at ZMW107.3 million. Key to this picture are the challenges that the country experienced in the Mining sector which could affected downwards production volumes of copper than initially projected.

CTPD observes that imports continued to outstrip total exports during the first quarter of 2015 and this should serve as a wakeup call for the Zambian Government on the need to accelerate diversification of the economy away from trade in metal exports which comprise mainly copper accounting for 66 per cent in export earnings while non-traditional exports account for about 34 per cent.

It is our opinion that the current high dependence on copper exports makes the country vulnerable in terms of its macro- economic stability particularly when on the global front, copper prices go down but also on the domestic front when the sector experiences serious governance and management challenges leading to inconsistencies in policy implementation which ultimately affect the production volumes of copper and the metals in the sector as has been seen in the recent past. The current trade deficit seen in February and March is in part attributable to the slow -down in production and operations of the mining industry in the last three months.

Government should take this as a wake-up call and begin to look at the agenda of export diversification and economic diversification very seriously. It is our position that Government must begin to improve the current export situation in a much more sustainable manner by beginning to implement deliberate export diversification measures.

CTPD therefore recommends that Government should take measures to promote consumption of local products rather than imported” goods. Doing this requires Government to take measures that will facilitate lowering the cost of manufacturing locally as well as intensify on efforts around promoting value addition. Lowering manufacturing costs will make Zambian products more competitive.

CTPD is also of the considered opinion that Zambia must seize its unique advantage of increasing its Maize export volumes to maize deficit countries and regions within Africa such as the Congo DR and Kenya as a way of improving exports in Agriculture away from the Mining sector. It is disappointing to note that despite urgent calls to action to make Zambia more competitive for chronic maize deficit markets; Government through the FRA still continues to purchase maize at close to import parity levels rather than export parity, making the Zambian maize very

Uncompetitive on the export market.  Evidence also suggests that rather than export Maize in its raw form, Zambia would earn more foreign exchange if it actually exported vale added maize products rather than just raw maize. There is need for the government to undertake a detailed assessment of the maize export value chain to determine where the most value could be added. Our analysis shows that atonne of maize can produce 550 kg of breakfast mealie meal, 330 kg of roller meal and 100 kg of maize bran;When valued at export parity less costs of production, mealie exports to DRC for example are 6 times more valuable than formal maize exports of maize to Harare and 3 times more than informal exports to DRC. This will help increase foreign exchange earnings and contribute to stabilizing the kwacha depreciation as well in the short to long term.

CTPD therefore encourages government to look at other options of diversifying exports and value addition away from the mining sector. We are of the opinion that Government must do the noble thing and begin to act in this regard.

Centre for Trade Policy and Development

Isabel Mukelabai

Executive Director

HOW COME WE ARE SUPPORTING MUTEMBO NCHITO AND THINK THAT THE TRIBUNAL SHOULD BE DISBANDED?

The 3 Former Chief Justice

WHAT HISTORY DO WE HAVE WITH MUTEMBO NCHITO?

Before Patriotic Front came into power with President Sata as the leader, Mutembo Nchito and The Post Newspaper were in court for the loan they got from Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ). The Post supported PF in the campaigns leading to their victory against Rupiah Banda (RB).

Immediately PF won the elections, maneuvers were made to have the pursuant of the DBZ loan withdrawn from the courts, after the judgment against defendants. Three judges were suspended; the director and other senior staff at DBZ lost jobs in the process.

We perceived this as abuse of power by the PF and a loss of money to the Zambian people. With almost nothing but a strong will, we fought to have the case remain in court. We put up a spirited fight with the help of other people who had their own interests. The DBZ case is still in court and we have appealed to the Supreme Court to be included as parties to the proceedings.

In the initial events of setting up PF government, Mutembo Nchito was proposed to parliament by President Sata to be the DPP. As an organisation, we strongly objected because Mr. Nchito, as the director of the defunct Zambian Airways, was still in the middle of court battles over his DBZ loan and National Airport Cooperation departure fees remittance.

PRIVILEGES OF MUTEMBO NCHITO AS DPP

Mutembo NchitoMr. Nchito was rectified by Parliament and he was sworn in by President Sata as DPP in spite of our objections together with other stakeholders.

Being sworn in as DPP meant that Mr. Nchito was (and still is) a constitutional office bearer who has to enjoy certain privileges, regardless of what we and other citizens thought of him. If there was a mistake it was nolonger Mutembo Nchito’s fault but the PF government that put him in office.

These privileges most importantly involveworking independently from the Executive and enjoying security of tenure as enshrined in the constitution.

WHAT DID MUTEMBO NCHITO DO AS DPP AND DID THE STATE KNOW?

Like many other constitution holders, it is highly likely that, Mr. Nchito did certain things, such as entering nolles or prosecuting people at the instigation of the PF government. To those who were against the PF and President Sata, they criticized these acts like the nolle of RajanMathani and the prosecution of RB. Those who were in love with President Sata praised everything.

From our point of view, we looked at each and every case critically and gave our opinion without bias.Our focus has been on the DBZ loan to make sure the money is paid back to the Zambians because DBZ is a public bank. We have not preoccupied ourselves with other issues relating to the nolles because even if they may be perceived as an abuse, the it is within the powers of the DPP to do that and mostly, we believe that, the relevant PF government officials including Edgar Lungu, knew what Mutembo Nchito was doing. So it was not just the cartel.

If there was a cartel during Sata’s rule, he (Sata) was certainly part of it, including most of his ministers like Edgar Lungu because he was the anointed.

HOW WAS THE MUTEMBO TRIBUNAL SETUP?

Brebner ChangalaMr. BrebnerChangala wrote a letter to the President with seven charges so that a tribunal can sent.

We were alarmed when we heard that Mr. Nchito planted drugs on a citizen in the name of BrebnerChangala. We also got alarmed when we heard that Mr. Nchito altered a judgment of Justice Gregory Phiri.  These two issues raised our concern because they border on criminality. Hence we joined the bandwagon to call for President Lungu to setup a tribunal so that Mutembo can be removed.

President Lunguheeded to these calls and setup Mutembo Nchito’s Tribunal on 10th March 2015. The first hearing was set for 1st April 2015.

When the issue came up for hearing of Preliminary issues, surprisingly the State applied for an adjournment, to allow them make amendments to the Terms of Reference (ToR).

When the case came up again on 13th April 2015, the State presented amended ToR removing the two charges of planting drugs on Mr. Changala and the uttering of judgment of Justice Gregory Phiri.

This shocked us and we sort for answers, so we spoke to Mr. Brebner Changala who is the official complainant to President Edgar Lungu. Mr. Changala clearly said the all Tribunal thing was a scheme against Mr. Mutembo. He refused to have written the letter accusing it on the Solicitor General Mr. Abraham Mwansa. Mr. Changala even went to an extent of saying all thoseToR were fake.

In the interest of Justice, we found it difficult to believe that the Mutembo Tribunal was formed in the interest of the nation. To us this looks like a cartel met to remove the DPP out of office for reasons known to the orchestrators. The Mutembo Tribunal is not met to serve the Zambian people but a few powerful people who are scared of Mutembo’s wrath as DPP.

It is like Mutembo Nchito was hired then to fix certain people who were enemies of PF then and he went out in full force to do the job. Paradoxically the enemies of PF of Sata have become the friends of the new PF – MMD pact of President Edgar Lungu and breaks have to be applied on the prosecutions.

We have therefore refused to be used or be part of a scheme, outside the constitution, to hound out a constitutional office holder out of office. The issue for us is not Mutembo Nchito but protecting good governance and the constitution to allow any constitutional office bearer work independently and enjoy security of tenure.

Edgar Lungu going for Cabinet Meeting 16.03.2015From our point of view this Tribunal will be an embarrassment to the President and our justice system. Certain things that will come out, will undress a number of people because Mutembo must have done things with their knowledge. Inspite of change of Presidency, it is the same PF government and no PF member can escape from the responsibility for the wrongs done during Sata’ rule. We shall see them for they are.

President Edgar Lungu could better to just stop this Tribunal and swallow the bitter political pill of having been misled and have Mutembo Nchito continue as DPP and let the law takes its course on some of his sponsors who are facing corruption charges.  Mutembo Nchito should also dance to the law on his loan from DBZ, that way justice would have been done and President Lungu would be our darling.

We need to respect the constitution and promote good governance by ensuring that there is separation of powers. Zambian Voice we will not blink or fear, or shy away to point out injustice wherever it shows it’s face without bias. We will also admonish taints of bad governance at all costs, because Zambia belongs to the citizens and not a few corrupt elements.

Mutembo Nchito is the DPP, given to us by the PF government, whether we like him or not, and if he has to be removed bring clear cases not fake ones as said my the official complainant of this tribunal Mr. BrebnerChangala.

Lord have mercy and Protect the innocent.

HAKAINDE HICHILEMA (HH) HAS A CHANCE TO WIN ELECTIONS IF ONLY HE CAN SHARE HIS WEALTH AND BRING IN NEW BLOOD IN HIS TEAM

Politician HH

BY Mubita C. Nawa

I have received numerous inquiries and requests for me to comment and air my view of HH.
Honorable HH is a good man who I have personally known for the past fifteen years. I am very proud of his successes in business and in life in general. He has been at the helm of (now) the largest opposition party in Zambia for many years. In the January 2015 elections he came close to winning.

I believe with all my heart that honorable HH will be a dominant force in Zambian politics for a long time to come. His chances of winning any election are as good as anyone’s. I don’t believe elections are about critics. Elections are about the pulse of people in the ground and what they desire and whoever understands that pulse wins.

This past election demonstrated HH’s commitment to winning and there is no politician who worked harder no spent more money than HH. I commend him for that.

I believe if HH can spread his money and personal wealth a bit more to the people of Zambia it will help him significantly and push him further. People like Moses Katumbi attained power by spreading wealth to the people. Building a school or a hospital can be a huge plus for example. I know with all my heart the man is generous and a manifestation of that generosity will be a huge step.

Finally I think having advisers who are dynamic will be a continued advantage. Advises who will continue to position HH as a mainstream metropolis leader for all will be a great plus. And there are ways in doing that.
I don’t believe HH needs reused and recycled leaders who seek refuge in his party. HH can raise a new generation of leaders who can attract new subscribers to his party.

Personally I have never accused HH of being tribal. My advocacy for him has been a twinkling of his personal strategy and overal party disposition to be more liberal financially, more accommodating of dynamic young leaders and to distance himself from the bitter crop of dysfunctional leaders who just shift from one party to another be they young or old.

HH has the money and the energy and that is something not all politicians have. In my view what he needs now is a robust strategy that involves new young leaders and he will be right where he wants to be.

All in all I am very proud of HH and his commitment to Zambian politics and to Zambia. God bless all our leaders. I respect you all.

Please don’t ask me to write a commentary about your party president as well…lol. Article written by a spectator of politics who does not belong nor affiliate to any political party.

RT: ZAMBIA TODAY

CABINET DECISIONS BRIEF

LUSAKA (Monday, April 27, 2015) — At its 8th Meeting at State House today, Cabinet has taken the following decisions:

Approved the appointment of members of the Judicial Service Commission in line with Article 123 (1) of the Constitution and the Service Commissions Act. The appointment of the Commission will ensure the effective administration and performance of the functions of the Commission. The Minister of Justice will present names of the nominees to Parliament for ratification.

Approved a Bill to repeal the Companies Act in order to strengthen corporate governance, align corporate law with relevant laws and national development aspirations including the promotion of foreign direct investment. The new Companies Act is designed to enhance government policy on economic empowerment of citizens and the development of micro, small and medium enterprises. The rationale for the amendment is to simplify the registration procedures and reducing the cost of forming a company. The new law will be aligned with other pieces of legislation that came into effect after the enactment of the Citizens’ Empowerment Act and the Zambia Development Agency Act, which are aimed at promoting greater citizens participation and promotion of foreign direct investment. The 1994 Companies Act is no longer in tune with international best practices following the evolution of corporate law, which has placed a lot of emphasis on good corporate governance.
Several Government studies have revealed the need for reform of the business licensing regime particularly the simplification of the process of company incorporation.

The Companies Bill 2015, which will be presented to next sitting of Parliament, promotes transparency and high standards of corporate governance by clearly articulating the role of directors as well as providing a legal framework for the modernization of the Companies Registry.

Cabinet has also approved the introduction of the Insolvency Bill 2015 to provide for personal bankruptcy, insolvency and receivership thereby strengthening the obligations and duties of Insolvency Practitioners. Following international best practices, the Bill consolidates individual and corporate insolvency into one statute as well as introducing measures for business rescue.
Approved the contraction of a low-interest concessional loan of US$14,000,000 from the OPEC Fund for International Development to improve water and sanitation in 100 villages in all the 16 districts of Western Province. The loan will attract an interest of 1.75 percent. The project will comprise the construction and rehabilitation of water and sanitation infrastructure to enhance hygiene and clean water supply thereby improving the living conditions of the people of Western Province. Cabinet noted that rural water supply and sanitation is critically essential in the improvement of people’s health.

His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia directed ministers that more investments in water and sanitation must be directed at rural areas in order to bring about equitable access these essential basic services.

Approved the establishment of the a Bilateral Treaty to establish the Malawi-Zambia Trans-frontier Conservation Area to enhance the management and conservation of wildlife and other natural resources across the international boundaries.
The President also briefed Cabinet on the Summit of the African Union Committee of Ten (C-10) on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council which Zambia will host from 8th -10th May, 2015.

Issued by:

Amos Chanda
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
(PRESS & PUBLIC RELATIONS)

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