THE Government has terminated the contract of prosecutor Mutembo Nchito with immediate effect, acting Chief Government spokesperson Mike Mulongoti has announced.
He said the decision has been necessitated by the dissolution of the Taskforce on Corruption.
Mr Mulongoti said the Taskforce on Corruption was disbanded in October last year and
Government saw no reason to maintain Mr Nchito and other officials who were engaged in their private capacity to prosecute corruption cases.
He said officers from the Zambia Police, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and other security wings who were attached to the Taskforce on Corruption had been redeployed to their respective institutions.
“As such, those who were from private practice have also been written to because the Government has decided to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC),” Mr Mulongoti explained.
Mr Nchito declined to comment on the matter yesterday saying only “I am in the gym as you can hear from my breathing.”
Mr Mulongoti, however, explained that the Government commissioned an audit at the Taskforce on Corruption after it was disbanded and all officers were informed of further steps to be taken after the audit.
He said the continued stay of Mr Nchito at the Taskforce on Corruption depended on the needs of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“So if the DPP feels he does not need any of these officials anymore, he informs them and that is what has happened,” Mr Mulongoti said.
He explained that Mr Nchito would continue with the cases that he was handling in court.
Asked whether the decision showed less commitment towards corruption fight, Mr Mulongoti said the resolve to fight graft was a national matter and as such it did not depend on individuals.
On October 29, last year, Vice-President George Kunda said the Government would consolidate operations of ACC after disbanding the Taskforce on Corruption, which had become expensive to finance.
Mr Kunda said Government also decided that the Taskforce on Corruption would become a special wing at ACC and all its cases would be taken over by the commission.
The Taskforce on Corruption was formed by late president Levy Mwanawasa to investigate graft during the administration of former president Frederick Chiluba, which ended in 2001 after he served two five-year terms.
[Times of Zambia]