By Elisha Musoma (ZRP President)
I strongly feel that Fred Mmembe is pushing his luck too far by trying to scandalise anyone who doesn’t agree with him in any way. I know that has been his character, but I’m saying this in relation to what he said or wrote in his Sunday’s tabloid about his honour judge Nigel Mutuna after delivering judgement in the case between the state and JNC holdings and Post newspaper ltd for which he is the editor, that he expected this kind of behaviour and conduct.
To the contrary it’s Fred Membe’s behaviour and conduct that can be questioned. No doubt he had expected the courts to quash the case and allow him not to pay back the money that he owes the bank because he is Sata’s senior cadre who sings the highest praise and support for him even when it’s not necessary and he expect Sata to treat him like levy Mwanawasa did to him when he was alive.
We know that DBZ has been ordered by the powers that be, to discontinue the case or else why would the bank not strive to get its money back like it has always done to other people? Can Mmembe deny that his Post newspaper and HNC Holdings owe the bank?
To me it’s him whose behaviour and conduct are horrible and not the judge and people like Dr Rodger Chongwe should be the last person to question the integrity of judges.
What Mmembe should not forget is that Zambia is bigger than him or Sata and very soon they will also get out of power and be made to account for their deeds and behaviour. We know that had Mwanawasa been alive, no doubt Mmembe’s companies should have kept borrowing billions of kwacha from the public institutions as evidenced by the fact that former finance minister Ngandu Magande was even soliciting for more loans for Mmembe’s companies even when they had failed to pay back other loans.
Had Levy been alive no one in Zambia was even going to know about the tax evasion at airport and the careless lending of huge of money by public institutions to few individuals. Mmembe expects President Michael Sata to treat him like Mwanawasa did, but will Sata continue to flout rules to continue pleasing his so called senior choir master?
Judge Mutuna delivered the judgement where he ordered Mmembe’s Post Newspaper and JNH holdings to pay back the billions that they owed Development Bank of Zambia.
Surely the fact that the judgement did not go Mmembe’s way does not warrant careless attacks on the honourable judge and competent courts with good track records. Please let’s all not allow a situation where the courts only become competent when the judgement goes in our favour and when it goes contrary even when we are wrong, then the courts and our judges become the subject of ridicule.
As far as Mmembe is concerned, he is untouchable and only others should be made accountable or go to jail and not him or his surroundings. But the question I would pose to everyone is, is Mmembe surely as white as he has successfully painted himself over the years?
If the judgement was delivered at the time of president Rupiah Banda, no doubt Mmembe was going to cry foul that it was influenced by State house as he always did when ever any judgement never went his way. Does Mmembe even want to question how he got those loans of billions of Kwacha from public institutions because we all know the kind of names he called Mwanawasa before and after the loans and other favours. Before Mwanawasa was a cabbage among other things who was very corrupt as far as Mmembe was concerned, but the moment he allowed them to evade tax at airport and gave them billions of loans from govt banks, the once corrupt and cabbage president became normal and a Saint.
We have seen this even now the way Fred Mmembe is praising Sata, as if it was not him who called president Sata names before. We also know that Membe’s support for Micheal Sata is not genuine but it’s just because they are personal benefits as seen by the awarding of good appointments to his surrounding by the president and the discontinuation of his cases among other things. However, it should be plainly told to the man Mmembe that, it is said that you cannot fool all the people all the time. In fact some people you can’t not fool. Not every one of us in Zambia believes that Mmembe is the saint he claims himself to be.
Judiciary should be respected.