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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Mutembo Nchito and the maxim : Let Justice be done though the heavens fall

Columns Mutembo Nchito and the maxim : Let Justice be done though the...

DPP Mutembo Nchito addressing delegates during the 3rd International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) Conference for the Africa-India Ocean Region in Livingstone at Zambezi Sun Hotel
DPP Mutembo Nchito

The politics of the motherland have been interesting. But the politicians are systematically undermining the Rule of Law and whirling the Judiciary into rebel extravaganza. The arrest of Mutembo Nchito, the current Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of Zambia, is turning Zambia perfunctorily into the reserves of zoo politics arbitrating jungle justice. If one is a stranger to the politics of the land they would think the Latin maxim of Fiat justitia ruat caelum (or “Let justice be done though the heavens fall”) is taking root.

They would have ample references to July 16th, 2002, when the Zambian Parliament lifted late President Chiluba`s immunity. They would also refer to March 15th, 2013, just over ten years after the fact, when President Michael Sata`s Patriotic Front (Pf) lifted former President Rupiah Banda`s immunity as well. The paradox is, however, that in both events the name of Mutembo Nchito was not remotely in association.

Was Mutembo Nchito a political whip who after his job is done is now being discarded? It was just after the 2001 presidential elections. Mwanawasa was the new sheriff in town, and to help him perform his job of law and order, the Nchitos were his easy choice. It all started with a betrayal. Mwanawasa graced his Tusk Force prosecution team with the Nchito Brothers, as they were called. This did not, definitely, go well with the then DPP, the late Mukelabai Mukelabai.

In fact, Mukelabai had dismissed Mutembo Nchito from prosecuting Richard Sakala’s case, but Mwanawasa overruled contrary to Article 56 of the Zambian Constitution. By law, Mutembo Nchito had no mandate to prosecute on behalf of the Zambian government, it was alleged, and its people because he was a private corporate lawyer. Mutembo Nchito himself became ratified as DPP under very disconcerting circumstances to replace Chalwe Mchenga, now a judge. Subsequently, Nchito became involved in all major cases backed by the government.

Zambia has not made political and economic progress because the same people have dominated public life for years

Zambia has not made political and economic progress because the same people have dominated public life for years. These same people keep making the same decisions, or lack thereof, which have taken the nation nowhere. There seems to be a curse of recycled manpower hovering above the Zambian panoply. Because it is the same people who make decisions that affect the nation, vengeance and vendetta loom large. In fact, it seems the entire saga has its genesis in Kenneth Kaunda animosity against Frederick Chiluba. Kaunda, conveniently using the instruments of power at his disposal such as a One Party State, the Public Order Act and hijacking of all parastatal bosses as the “boss of bosses,” and etc., meted out on all his political “opponents” with vengeful venom. He maintained this kind of rule for 27 years. When Chiluba became president, he retaliated. His detention without trial under Kaunda was rewarded with detaining Kaunda on UFO allegations.

Then it was Mwanawasa. Fearing, with the help of Mutembo Nchito to some extent, that his “cabbage” tag would rub frenetically on his governed initiated a precedential immunity lifting politics. (Zambia is the only country in the 21st century to have lifted the immunity of its presidents twice – which is a shameful heirloom by itself). Sata was not any different from his predecessors; he targeted Rupiah Banda. The former president’s case is technically alive in courts. Banda himself is not immune from the politics of vengeance, either. In January 2015, he did the unthinkable. He ditched the MMD party under which he ruled Zambia for three years and joined the Pf party that defeated him just because he wanted to run away from prosecution from corruption and abuse of office allegations. President Lungu will be out of his mind to now let Banda go free. If President Lungu does otherwise, that would be the biggest betrayal of the Zambian people’s trust, ever.

Awful as this might seem, the targeting of Mutembo Nchito is the lowest the Zambian government has come on its integrity index. As stated above, Nchito’s DPP job had been controversial from the beginning. In some respect, some would be glad he is arrested. However, in a country that prides in the Rule of Law, the motivation cannot be this malicious. Just as in the appointment of the former chief electoral officer of the just-ended presidential by-election, Justice Mambilima, as Chief Justice of Zambia, President Lungu can do better to show leadership judgment, in the attempted arrest of Nchito the Pf government is again pontificating the rule of vengeful men. Newton Ng’uni has argued that he has a duty as a Zambian citizen to ensuring that laws are observed and respected by all regardless of their status in society. But this is fickle. Ng’uni is a former Finance Deputy Minister. Why it is that somehow under Mwanawasa and Sata Nchito was a saint and he has just turned into a demon now? And Nchito is not innocent, too. He is on record now trying to accuse the police of arresting people found loitering at night. He has now suddenly learned it is against people economic rights and freedoms. He did not voice out for the people before the Lungu administration came into power.

My dear countrymen, it is important for Zambia to understand four things. First, that the whole is always bigger than the sum of its aggregate parts. For over twenty years, the same people who have run Zambia have taken sane and vulnerable people for a ride. They assign each other to offices arbitrarily and they rule without any ideas for national transformation. They interpret the law to suit their own whims and caprices. They choose to obey some laws and disobey others. They change ministerial positions like undergarments. They vacillate from policy to policy like shifting shadows. They are not stable like weather. And at the end of the day, they come back to the electorate with the same lies expecting to be elected to the positions which only fatten their own bellies and not those of the children in the street or of the senior citizens in the villages. They are political chameleons who change party colours at will and subscribe to the politics of poverty. Does Zambia really need these kinds of people to rule?

Second, no matter what the motive is, the government should not be above the law. A DPP is a constitutional office. The person who occupies that office enjoys tenure regardless of how he was appointed and ratified. Contrary to Article 58 of the Zambian Constitution, a DPP can only be removed from office for incompetency or incapacity, neither of which applies to Nchito. If this witch-hunt succeeds, it will undermine both the constitution (which is the highest law of the land) and the will of the people. Tyranny of the majority and the majority of one, both do not have a place in democratic societies. If government or its stooges are allowed to abuse their powers by arbitrarily and unilaterally sanctioning removal of democratically constructed personnel from their positions, Zambia will begin to lose a grip on the fundamentals of modern political management and may be a liability in the community of nations.

Third, Zambian politicians should adhere strictly to the moral law of tolerance and love under God. As a Christian Nation, Zambia should be the best place on earth where people should be valued for who they are and given respect as citizens. When will Zambia begin a path towards healing rather than killing? When will the government begin to end the politics of vengeance and substitute it with one of penitence? When will ruling parties cease from using power as a means to settle political scores? I vouch that until the nation becomes a balm, its economic conditions will never retain calm. Unless we rise above hatred and revenge, law will be just a weapon in the hands of a government with legitimate power but with illegitimate ideas!

Fourth and last, where is President Lungu’s promise to the people that he would perpetrate what Sata began? When it was argued that he had no campaign platform, he said he would continue where Sata left. Now it is clear that he is undoing, and not continuing, what Sata started. For example, in his appointments, his position on mining and tax and his attempted arrest of Nchito, to mention but a few. Mr. President, is this continuing the legacy of President Sata or it is just too early to call? Zambians should be wise and demand that justice is done though the heavens should fall!

By Charles Mwewa

Charles Mwewa is author of the newly-released book, The Legacy of President Michael Sata: Allergic to Corruption and of Zambia: Struggles of My People. Charles’ blog is www.mwewa.ca.


    • Good article non the less. But when are we going to get a conscious in Zambian media? We let Fred dictate the tone of debate, no one at all is discussing the charges levelled against our DPP. That is a very high and cardinal office, we are letting Fred get away with setting the tone of debate when it comes to protecting his friends and their interests

    • Charles Mwewa has successfully contradicted himself in his article on Mutembo Nchito.Chales quotes the Constitution thus” Contrary to Article 58 of the Zambian Constitution, a DPP can only be removed from office for incompetency or incapacity, neither of which applies to Nchito. If this witch-hunt succeeds, it will undermine both the constitution (which is the highest law of the land) and the will of the people…….”This proviso is only applicable where from day one that one becomes DPP,he is squeaky clean.Mutembo Nchito from his inception as DPP was carrying tons and tons of rotten baggage which ordinarily should have disqualified him from becoming DPP.This Mutembo Nchito is on record that he forged a High Court Order and utter it.Is this honorable for a DPP?

    • The DPP is a Constitutional Office. Correct !! The author needs to understand this.

      Nchito cannot escape from “Criminal Complaints” Let him prove his innocence. This will not be the first time Nchito will be forced to resign. Amongst the complaints lodged are:

      1. Abuse of authority of office
      2. Conflicting statements on oath
      3. Conspiracy to commit felony
      4. Conspiracy to commit misdemeanour
      5. Conspiracy to defeat the course of justice
      6. Conspiracy to defraud
      7. Contempt of court
      8. Conversion not amounting to theft
      9. Corrupt practices
      10. Disobedience of lawful orders
      11. Extortion
      12. Fabricating evidence
      13. Failing to account
      14. False swearing
      15. Forgery of judicial or official document


    • Cont…

      16. Fraud and breach of trust by public officer
      17. Fraudulent
      18. Obtaining credit/loan by false pretences
      19. Obtaining execution of security by false pretences
      20. Obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretences
      21. Perjury
      22. Subornation of perjury
      23. Tax evasion
      24. Theft
      25. Uttering of false documents

      Unfortunately, Nchito has committed Most of the above complaints. That we know.. and he too knows very well. He will need to prove his innocence.

    • It only happens to be Mutembo Nchito’s own hour of reckoning. It has come. What was tying his hands not to have concluded Rupiah Banda’s prosecution?

    • Talking of Mutembo Nchito or is it Fred M’membe, these are economic and political criminals. I know UPND feels what I feel. The least who share what I’m saying is PF. PF are the saviors of these criminals and their war against RB is vindictiveness against him because he refused to fall for their trap. Pretend what you want, these two are criminals not worthy of holding a public office like DPP. If EL wants to fall for what his enemies preach, including this Mwewa, he’ll have himself if doesn’t win next election. Zambians hate Nchito and M’membe including Wynter. Don’t worry what you hear about wynter – he’s very far from being popular! He left cronies behind in PF

  1. The long article is carrying some general sense, but I don’t agree that President Lungu is drifting away from Sata’s dreams, he is only perfecting the method of getting results, and cleaning up where he see idle minds.. Don’t worry if the DPP is clean he will survive,but he is not above the law hence procedure follows him.

  2. Go on twitter and learn Keeping It Short and Simple.

    Good article non the less. But when are we going to get a conscious in Zambian media? We let Fred dictate the tone of debate, no one at all is discussing the charges levelled against our DPP. That is a very high and cardinal office, we are letting Fred get away with setting the tone of debate when it comes to protecting his friends and their interests

  3. I feel troubled. My soul is not at peace. EL just like RB, does not understand zambian. We hate corruption but we all the time let down by politicians. By releasing RB,you should not bother to stand in 2016. I am PF and try to be neutral on issues. I never trusted EL and never voted for him.am vindicate in my own consciousness. Readers may wonder wonder, I wanted PF to win but could give him my vote. If PF members want to continue to rule,get rid of EL fast. It’s just advice.

    • Do not just read the Post Newspaper who are trying by all means to evade discussing the charges leveled against Mutembo Nchito.The DPP has it calling himself.The criminal offenses like forging a High Court Order is no where better than the trumped abuse of office charges RB is currently facing in court.If you have been following RB’s case in court,the key witness from Nigeria who was brought into the country by Mutembo Nchito completely exonerated RB in his star evidence.The Post is shepherding the Zambians into a kraal of thought that Mutembo Nchito is being persecuted when this is far from the truth.BE CAREFUL WITH THE POST NEWSPAPER!!!!!

  4. It is surprising how we Zambians can shout at someone to be incarcerated and cry foul at some people with issues that are before court being resisted. It is like we care nothing for others to be probed and care most for others also to be probed. When it was roumoured that RB stole all hell was up in arms but when we hear Nchito has the DBZ saga we say he is just being fixed. Come on, isn’t there a law that provides for a constitutional offcer to be prosecuted when he comes into conflict with the law? why are we treated to juggons and made to believe some Offices are above the law? Let people clear themselves than crying on their behalf.

    • You have to understand two things: the DBZ loan was contracted by a legal person (Zambian Airways) and the corporate veil has not been lifted for you to go after the owners; there is a laid down procedure for the the removal of the DPP, why is it that people do not want to follow this procedure? Remember, two wrongs do not make a right! Funny how everyone is claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Zambian people and that no one is above the law, yet they are not willing to follow the letter of the law!

  5. Whenever Mutembo Nchito is DPP, a former President gets their immunity lifted. But worse, he fails to prove any case beyond the fact that the reasons for immunity removal border on hatred and mare show that immunity can be removed.

    Is the office of DPP higher than that of President?

    Just drop this Mutembo guy and then we move on. I’m sure we have got lots of smart and clean people who can take up that job without harassing innocent citizens.

    We have had enough trouble because of these prosecutions based on malice.

  6. The article is making sense, we must start learning how to forgive then we will start to move forward, there are a lot of revenge in Zambian politics, it is time to start forgiving but I DOUBT IF THE CURRENT PRESIDENT CAN PRACTICE FORGIVENESS WITH THE FIRING OF SCORT, MWANSA KAPEYA,SIMUSA,CHENDA,

  7. I am confused. I agree with what the writer of the article is saying that Edgar is changing almost all that Sata did. This Nchito saga has only exposed the PF government both under Edgar and Sata himself. Edgar and his cohorts in PF were advised against their choice for DPP. HH, in particular spoke at length on the matter but, using their arrogance of numbers in parliament, they out voted the opposition. Now Sata is dead and buried, Edgar all of a sudden has seen the rot that HH advised against. However, it is now too late as the RB factor has gotten him entangled from head to toe. Why didnt he advise Sata since he claims to have been the änointed” one? And if Sata was stubborn, why didnt he resign like his friend GBM did when he protested against the Chitimukulu’s mistreatment??

    • The vision of Sata was to develop Zambia. Along the way he might have worked with wrong people and he might have done wrongs himself. Correcting these does not mean abandoning the vision. Shall we follow even Sata “vision” blindly! Work Up Zambians!


  9. The problem with Mwewa is that he has never been objective in what he writes. He is a UNDP sponsored mercenary. This guy has no independent mind.

    • I kind of agree with you somehow. I know Charles from UNZA days of Chi-Alpha and UNZA-IFEC. He seems to have changed. Objectivity is slowly eluuding him. Sadly! In this article he kind of contradicts himself. He doesn’t know where he stands.

    • Hello Mahala mbu Sambazi,

      You brought out some very profound memories of the UNZA_IFEC days. Will you kindly touch base with me so we can link up. I miss those days, I am sure you do, too. Just by the way, I still remain committed to the ideals of life – in other things I may change as I become more enlightened and grow. However, in eternal and truth issues, my anchor will always be Christ! God bless you and hop to hear from you soon!!

  10. Yes politics of vendetta and vindictiveness is bad for the nation but what to do when you have people occupying these public offices flouting the law and abusing their offices at will? If his appointment was controversial from the beginning, we sleep over it, take on the chin and move on, thus perpetuating a wrong?

    Yes Zambia will never move forward for as long as we have selfish leaders whose mission is to steal from the public. It will always be difficult for successive governments to ignore the wrongs committed by their predecessors.

    And this ‘tenure’ garbage I keep hearing about just gets on my nerves. We can only develop if we follow the basic rule of “no one is above the law”. Anyone should be prosecuted if they break the law. Anyone including the president!

  11. Sata’s vision bring realised by EL. RB is like oil in car, it’s necessary to run the car but paints everything black including the parts it wants protect. EL you could have won without RB but you embraced him. He finishes whatever gets into contact with him Namboard, UNIP, MMD next is you or PF or both.

  12. Newton’s law of gravity: what goes up must eventually come down!!! Or to every thing there is a season!

    I humbly request DPP to take leave until dust settles: by proving his innocence quietly – The POST is only stocking the fire for self serving purposes.

    i think the EL has nothing to do with this saga – May he have the last say in the matter.

    • Hello Morsi,

      Get it from me, Zambia has never been this fortunate to have online media like The Lusaka Times leading the way. And people like you are an asset to this republic. Keep doing what you are doing because you matter to the change we desire in Zambia. Just a tiny piece of advice, let us in a small way give deference and civility where it is due. I am sure, you agree, Sata may have had no vision, but don’t you think calling him an ***** is a bit unfair and out of order? All men deserve a share of our respect, and I am sure you agree the late deserves his – is it ok to suggest so? Cheers great patriot!

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