Tuesday, 27 October 2009
A UNITED Nations Population Fund (UNPF) survey in Zambia shows that 80 per cent of all HIV/AIDS infections are transmitted through heterosexual contact.
The survey says out of 100 new infections, 71 are estimated to arise through sex with non-regular partners while 21 per cent of new infections are estimated to occur in people who report that they have only one sexual partner, which signifies a great risk even for those who are faithful.
Other factors apart from low levels of male circumcision, mostly common in North-Western and Western provinces, are gender-based discrimination, migration and socio-cultural norms.
“Many organisations have sprung up to fight the epidemic through efforts meant to minimize infection rates and devise ways within existing structures on how to handle already infected,” according to Mr. Duah Owusu-Sarfo, UNPF country representative.
Mr. Owusu-Sarfo said the church has entered the fray and is now in the battlefront.
“One such church is the Gospel Outreach Fellowship, which has broken the silence in fighting the epidemic,” he said in a speech delivered for him by HIV/AIDS programme officer, Mrs Florence Mulenga at the Family and Friends Health Day on October 18.
The Family Health Day was organised by the Young Couples Fellowship of Go Centre in Lusaka with the blessing of the Senior Pastor, Revered Helmut Reutter. The idea behind the initiative is to promote voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) as a way of preventing HIV transmission and de-stigmatise HIV and put a human face to it through talking about it in an informal way.
The one day event which was also used to promote VCT as an entry point to care, support and treatment and to provide benefits of VCT, attracted about 1,000 people – exceeding the 600 which was budgeted for.
Living Waters Church sent 72 members, 35 of whom tested at this event which was staged to challenge pastors to take the lead and testing for HIV and to promote the use of VCT as a good healthy practice for children and youths.
The Family and Friends Health Day marked exactly three months since the last Family Day in June 2009.
The Kalusha Bwalya Foundation sent three football teams to entertain the participants from Chawama, Kanyama and Chibolya. The players also attended the group counselling.
“I wish to invite the church to rise to these challenges through its moral and religious teachings especially in the area of abstinence,” Mr. Owusu-Sarfo said.
He said the church’s role apart from the conventional moral and religious teachings should be encouraging their members to go for voluntary counselling and teaching (VCT).
He says the low levels – 15.4 per cent – of Zambians who have gone for VCT were unacceptable.
Yet, Zambia is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with a high HIV prevalence of 14.3 percent among the adult population 15-49 with a projection of 82,681 (59 percent women and 41 percent men) new infections expected to occur this year.
“Further research has revealed that, currently about 226 new adult infections occur per day. These are serious and alarming figures. We can’t afford to be silent anymore, we need to act as a matter of urgency, we need to speak out in our churches, communities and families,” Mr. Owusu-Sarfo said.
In order to access various ranges of treatment medical personnel ought to know their HIV status through VCT.
“It is my sincere hope that more families will use this opportunity to test and be able to take control of their lives so that the church and communities at large can be healthy and be able to make a meaningful contribution towards the social-economic and spiritual development of our country,” he said.
Go Centre was the ideal venue for the Family Health Day as the church, through its social wing – Chreso Ministries Centre for Anti-retroviral (ARVs) and HIV Counselling and Testing (VCT).
The Church presently provides care and treatment (ARV) to over 8,000 people based in Lusaka , 2,000 in Kabwe and another 2,000 in Livingstone.
Levy Phiri, vice chairperson of the Young Couples Fellowship, said Go Centre has different fellowship groups which meet once every month and the Church encourages these groups to put the topic of HIV/AIDS as a priority.
“The Senior Pastor Helmut Reutter was invited by the young couples for their fellowship and HIV/AIDS in our homes, was included as one of their topics of discussion.
The director of Chreso Ministries (Pastor Helmut Reutter) gave a very moving presentation on the need to have healthy families, emphasizing the need to ensure that children and everyone else in the family access such health services as HIV testing together,” Mr. Phiri said.
Thus on 28 June 2009, Go Centre had their first ever family day where all the members were encouraged to bring extended families to Go Centre for a second service that was dedicated to HIV information delivery and the importance of HIV testing.
The service was conducted by Chreso clinic. About 150 people came to attend and 42 ended up having an HIV test
“This success story could also have been attributed to the fact that our leader, the Senior Pastor and his wife were the first to test for HIV and this gave an encouragement to the entire congregation. The event was so successful that churches around our centre started asking for another opportunity so that they can also participate,” Mr. Phiri said.
This prompted the Young Couples Fellowship to put up a bigger act on October 18, attracting 1000 people and 256 people tested. “With our approach on group testing, we believe if they get the information right, two is a crowd. There were lot of young teenagers who could not test because they did not come with their parents, there was age restriction on VCT but they themselves were willing to test,” Mr. Phiri said.
Some people had different responsibilities in organising the event and turned out last to test, hence queues were long, some didn't get a chance to test due to time factor
“We also understand that the UN can help us with a constant and sustainable supply of condoms. We are encouraged that our own senior Pastor (Helmut Reutter) has permitted the use of condoms among married people for various purposes ranging from prevention to family planning,” Mr. Phiri said
He said: “Young couples of Go Centre were very grateful for the UNFPA support to the Family and Friends Health Day. It takes great responsibility to find the value of an event which will help with the people’s morality.
“The UNFPA country representative Mr Duah Owusu-Sarfo must be commended by all faith-based organisations and Government for realising that, faith-based organisations in Zambia account for the majority of the population and sensitising them will greatly improve on the percentage of people going for VCT.”
He said Pastor Reutter's decision to encourage people to go in groups of families and friends for VCT must be supported by all.
“People get encouraged by seeing others test and it has already started showing good results with the prior event. Parents have a responsibility to take the whole family including dependants and infants for testing. Pastor Reutter did not only preach about VCT but he took the whole congregations at Go Centre for testing and he was the first one to test with his wife showing good leadership.
Leaders have a lot of influence in society and if we want to see a bright future of our children they have to take the first step.
Friday, 2 October 2009
WEBBY KALIKITI was watching television in his apartment in
It was spontaneous, the way German politicians on either side of the wall reacted, Dr. Kalikiti recalls. He was a student of history at Paris7 University in
Dr. Kalikiti, now a lecturer of European history at the
“Since the collapse of the wall, Germans are now free to engage in world affairs in the attempt to bring world peace,” Dr. Kalikiti said, pointing to
“They have been the largest contributor of the resources to the EU,” Dr. Kalikiti said.
Prior to the Wall's erection, 3.5 million East Germans had been tempted to escape into West Germany, many over the border between East and West Berlin.
During its existence from 1961 to 1989, the Wall stopped most such migration and detached
Dr. Kalikiti said
“It was a change that came with breaking up of the
He said it was a reflection of what was happening when the
“East Germans saw what had happened in
After many weeks of civil agitation, the East German government was forced to proclaim on November 9, 1989, that all GDR citizens could visit
The announcement prompted crowds of East Germans to go up and cross the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere.
According to Dr Kalikiti, “
The collapse of the wall has given
He cited the
He added, “A united
Dr. Kalikiti said
For countries like
At UNZA, the schools of mines, economics, and development studies have benefited from training in
Mr. Mulenga said a united
“Through out history,
Nigerian journalist and artiste Olayinka Oyegbile whose birthday coincides with the day of German unification says, “I think the unification of
You may be German, British or African, the one uniting force is that we are all human. As an artiste the unification for me represents the power of arts. German writers such as Gunther Grass signify this.”
Mr. Oyegbile who was in
The city was divided for several years under two ideologically opposed powers and yet it is now united without any difference between East and West Germans. This is a big lesson that we can also be one as Africans.”
Sara Bakata, a Kenyan journalist who visited
There was no HauphBan Hof (biggest train station in Berlin), half of Potsdamer Platz (shopping mall) was still under construction, the wall Berlin wall still standing in most places but with tourists still chipping away at it for a piece of history.”
She said politically, there were still strong divisions of Leftists, Conservatives, Liberals and everything in between.
”There was a vibrancy to the city, with ever increasing numbers of tourists visiting the half-closed-for-renovation historical buildings dotting the city from the parliament buildings, to the
She said politically, it was also the time that the seat of government had just moved from
“This added to the flurry of buildings coming up as most foreign missions rushed to construct embassies and High Commissions.
Socially, the country itself was just adjusting to its central location in
But beneath all this also were the media reports of Xenophobic attacks of foreigners in predominantly neo-Nazi neighbourhoods.
As visiting foreign students, my group was well warned to avoid such neighbourhoods, always walk in groups, especially at night and not to get into any altercation with aggressive individuals or groups of people. So deserted U-Bahns and bus stops were out of the question.
On her second visit to
“New sparkling buildings, almost all foreign embassies were now in
The coalition government concept was heavily borrowed by
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has who swept back to power in after the September 27 election, will now open talks with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP).
She believes a coalition between them and her centre-right CDU/CSU bloc offers the best chance for recovery.
Her previous coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD) suffered their worst election performance for decades.
Ms Bakata suggested the German mission in
She said this went on to prove that
”This means the policies of the old German and the new German had not changed much, since the government of the day still had the same influence in countries such as Kenya,”
”By 2009, on my third visit to
In 2000, hardly any German wanted to speak English, even after we were assured that the language is well understood and spoken, and that we would have no problems communicating in public.
In 2009, most of the talk in trains, shops, restaurants and even bars was in English!
The city itself had acquired younger inhabitants, there were always groups of young happy people, going about their business, new foreign stores had come to town to add to the already high quality German stores.
UNZA lecturer of history, Friday Mulenga, said the unification of
“It is not good to divide people who are the same like the case of
As the Germans toast their unification, they will be doing so knowing that some countries in Europe did not want to see the two Germans re-united because of the First and
But it is history and
“Our special commitment to
Thursday, 1 October 2009
By Gershom Ndhlovu
I have just finished reading a book, Ethics For Journalists by Richard Keeble. This book recently caught my attention on Amazon, a website that among other things, sells books because of the threat of statutory regulation if journalists do not come up with a mechanism of self-regulation.
Having taken Media Laws and Ethics as part of my Mass Communication studies at the
As such, I do recommend that people on both sides of the argument, that is, those for statutory regulation and those against it, should read the book which has largely been written based on the
The Zambian media landscape is basically dichotomous between state-owned Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC which are seen as compliant to the dictates of government and the ruling MMD, and the private media largely represented by the Post. It may seem though that statutory regulation is aimed at the Post with its patently anti-establishment stance of always exposing wrong doing in government.
After reading, Keeble’s book, I have realised that government officials and the statutory regulation lobby, do not clearly state what it is that the so-called recalcitrant media do not conform to in terms of ethics in the manner they report and write news.
Is it the mere fact that newspapers such as the Post will publish what the state controlled media would not publish such as the abuse of state resources? Do the Post and other private media invade people’s privacy? Is reporting corruption or perceived corruption in and outside government wrong? What is the best way of reporting and writing news?
These are some of the questions that need to be answered particularly by the statutory regulation lobby which should understand that journalists are not just thrown into the field without essential grounding in ethics during journalism training. The same ethics that journalists in public media learnt are the same ethics that private media journalists learnt during their training. It is the ownership and economic consideration that determine a media’s editorial direction.
Obviously, the Zambia Daily Mail, the Times of Zambia and ZNBC tend to echo the ruling MMD government’s line while the Post and other private media will tend to fill in the vacuum left by the government media and also for their need to maximise sells considering that they are not subsidised by the government.
But, as Keeble writes, “ethical inquiry is crucial for all media workers—and managers. It encourages journalists to examine their basic moral and political principles; their responsibilities and rights; their relationship to their employer and audience; their ultimate goals.”
One important ethos that I gleaned from Keeble’s book is that journalists need to pursue accuracy and truthfulness in their course of duty.
“Indeed, there is a strong ethical commitment among many journalists towards accuracy and truthfulness in their reporting. These are values stressed in codes of conduct throughout the world…,” he writes.
Media Ethics Council of Zambia (MECOZ), to which all state-owned media organizations but not the Post, are party to, states in its explanatory note of its role:
“The purpose of distributing news and informed opinion is to serve the general welfare [sic]. Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other unworthy motives violate a high trust.
“Journalists uphold the right to speak unpopular opinions and privilege to agree with the majority while at the same time respecting the will of the minority. A journalist shall at all times defend the principle of the freedom of the press in relation to the collection of information and the expression of comment and criticism....”
One of its 10 point code of ethics, MECOZ states that the public has the right to know the truth. Therefore, it says, journalists have a duty to report the truth either as representing objective reality or representing what the source says fairly, accurately and objectively. Vice President George Kunda recently gave media organisations representatives an ultimatum to present to government a framework of their proposed self-regulation, failure to which would force government to enact its draft law to regulate the media.
But most tellingly, was parliamentary chief whip Vernon Mwaanga’s statement recently that the media had lost his support and that once the bill to regulate the media was introduced in parliament, he would support it.
Mwaanga, a former editor of the Times of Zambia, diplomat and minister of information is quoted to have said that it was sad that the media in
Mwaanga, who said that from the time he served as information minister, government had always advocated for self-regulation of the media but that the media seem to have failed to do so and it is for this reason he thinks that government should move in and assist in enacting a law that will allow the state to regulate the media.
In handling this issue, it is important to go back in history and bring out the fact that journalists in the early 1980s defeated manoeuvres by the then UNIP government to introduce a draconian media bill called the Press Council Bill which was to control the practice of journalism.
Most of the journalists of the time did not have the education that most of us are privileged to have—there are professors, PhD, Master’s and Bachelor’s degree holders and others who have branched into other disciplines such as law among us—and yet we seem more vulnerable now than the early journalists who withstood pressure from the UNIP government which did not easily tolerate dissent. The fight was no walk in the park either.
Among the current crop of MPs, there are people such as Zambezi West MP Charles Kakoma who was once managing editor of the Zambia Daily Mail and Mpika Central MP Mwansa Kapeya who was once a high ranking official at ZNBC who should resist the MMD government’s intention to pass legislation to regulate the media.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Theme: One Land, One Nation and One Law is our Cry
Members of Press, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen.
NGOs want Chiluba back in court
The past few weeks have been defining moments for Zambia. We have seen the conclusion of some of the corruption cases against former President Frederick Chiluba. We have all had occasion to listen to Government’s reaction to the acquittal of Dr. Chiluba and most importantly, we have all witnessed the reaction of the former President himself. We have also seen solidarity marches and other public events in support of the acquittal.. As Civil Society Organisations, we have taken time to analyse the different issues at play and gauged the public dissatisfaction with the judgement and calls for restoration of the immunity of Dr. Chiluba. This press conference has been called by a consortium of Civil Society Organisations to state their position on matters of governance and justice in Zambia and in particular on the recent acquittal of former President Dr. Frederick Chiluba. What we present to you is our common and united position and we address specifically the following issues – 1) the judgement by the Presiding Magistrate in this case, 2) the events surrounding the appeal and 3) the registration process of the London High Court.
Additionally, we do comment on calls for restoration of Dr. Chiluba’s immunity and we end by stating our course of action in our continued advocacy for fair justice for all anchored on the theme – One Land, One Nation and One Law is our cry..
2.0 THE JUDGEMENT
As a preamble, we want to categorically affirm our respect for the dignity and independence of the judiciary as provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. As Civil Society Organisations, we recognize and desire that our Judiciary remains insulated from criticism but above all, it is our fervent hope that the Judiciary discharges its functions in an unbiased manner and above any reproach. That is the Litmus test for our Judiciary – it will not help us as a people
to turn a blind eye to acts of omission and compromise by the Judiciary despite the respect that we accord this arm of government. Indeed, we do acknowledge that any court process could lead to either a conviction or an acquittal and that the reactions to any judgement will either bring about contentment or discontent as the case maybe. As Civil Society Organisation, we fall in the category of those Zambians who are saddened by the Judgement of the learned magistrate Honorable Jones Chinyama. This reaction is based on the type and quality of evidence adduced before the court, which in our view, adequately supported the case of impropriety on the part of Dr Frederick Chiluba who illegally benefitted from public funds in the Zamtrop account. We are not alone in this belief because even the Government of the late President Dr. Levy Mwanawasa SC
also strongly supported this position as evidenced by the statement made by the then Chief Government Spokesperson Hon. Mike Mulongoti when he plainly stated Government’s position on Dr. Chiluba’s defence that he had kept his personal money in the Zamtrop account when he was quoted by the Times of Zambia in its edition of Saturday, May 12, 2007, Mr. Mulongoti said “…the advice that the former president puts his personal money into a ZAMTROP account could only have been given on account that the sources were illegal and the public did not have to know about them.”
We wish to remind the public that Ms. Anna Chifungula, the Auditor General who was called by the defence to give evidence in the matter stated that one can not put private money in a government account, and in the event of this happening, the said private money is forfeited to the State. It becomes government money. And assuming that Dr. Chiluba had money in the Zamtrop account, the court should have noted the requirement for Dr. Chiluba to prove the source and ownership of the same money at the defense stage. This was not done and it leave everything to conjecture as to the source of the funds which the former President is now claiming to be his The implication of the judgement is that public and/or elected officials can now knowingly and willingly deposit their private funds in a government account without facing the consequence of the law especially if there is suspicion to the sources of the funds and the intended use. . There are a number of other points of inconsistency in the judgement which makes it difficult for us to appreciate and indeed accept the innocence that it bestows on Dr. Chiluba. This judgement attracts more questions than answers.
Against this background we find this judgement highly questionable and we are not surprised that it has attracted a lot of criticisms, with some questions to be answered by the Government of the day. It is difficult to ignore the statements by different Government leaders which all go to explain the growing political interest in these matters.
There are several aspects of this judgement which give an indication of possible political interference. Our view point has been confirmed by utterances by Hon. Mike Mulongoti that jailing Dr. Chiluba would have been costly and that some people should be able to go to jail while others remain. Hon. Mike Mulongoti further said:
“We consider the general harmony in the country. Even courts are sensitive to the political situation in the country. You cannot just say, jail everyone. No, there is forgiveness, there is reconciliation. Everything is there. So Chiluba, whether we like it or not, he was president of Zambia. Not everyone hates Chiluba. There are wrong things he did, there are also good things he did” (The Post Newspapers of Monday, September 21 2009).
2. It is such statements from high ranking government officials which convince us that this matter was handled carelessly and politicized by the Government. Hon. Mulongoti’s statement clearly demonstrates that the judgement was politically engineered as he implicitly admits that Chiluba did some wrong things but the courts of law were made to dance to the tune of the political sensitivity in the country instead of concentrating on the legal provisions.
We wish to state that we have studied the judgement itself and we have noted a number of flaws a few which include:
1. The Learned Trial Magistrate neglected to consider finding the accused of the commission of a minor or alternative offence
2. The learned trial Magistrate breached the rules of criminal procedure when he decided to exclude otherwise admissible evidence after it had been admitted by himself.
3. There is also an irregularity on the no case to answer stage or case to answer stage.
4. There are also a number of procedural issues that were not complied with.
5. The weight attached to the unsworn evidence by Dr. Chiluba.
We have done a detailed analysis of these irregularities that are contained in more than 40 pages
that all interested Zambians can be emailed to.
2.1 THE IMPACT OF THE JUDGEMENT
It cannot be denied that the case of former President Dr. Chiluba was a high profile one and the outcome of this case has several implications on the local and international levels
We wish to note the following impacts:
1. The Judgment has the potential to completely erode public confidence and trust in the justice system and judiciary in Zambia.
2. Zambia’s governance record will undoubtedly come under intense international scrutiny and our reputation as a country will be called into question;
3. The ruling by the learned magistrate that former President Chiluba was not a public servant has the potential of creating comfort zones where elected leaders can plunder public resources with impunity. It also raises unnecessary confusion on whether elected leaders are public officials or not.
4. The judgement sets a bad precedent on the utilization of public funds. This is why we welcome the stance of cooperating partners who have expressed concern to ensure that public funds that include tax payers money from their respective countries is well utilized.
3.0 THE QUESTION OF THE APPEAL
Article 56 (7) of The Zambian Constitution provides that, “In the exercise of the powers conferred on him by this Article, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority..”
3. Contrary to this Article, Vice President Hon. George Kunda who is a member of the executive was quoted confirming that government would not appeal against former president Chiluba’s acquittal saying, “It will amount to professional misconduct for the DPP Chalwe Mchenga to appeal against Frederick Chiluba’s acquittal because the case has no merit.” He further said that, “on Chiluba, it would be unprofessional, in fact, professional misconduct for the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal knowing well that the case is frivolous and of no merit whatsoever for him to go ahead and lodge an appeal.” (The Post Newspapers, 23rd September 2009)
The statement of Hon. Kunda that government would not appeal amounts to directing the DPP not to appeal contrary to Article 56 (7) of the Constitution. As such it is our considered view that the DPP was intimidated by Hon. Kunda. Hence, the DPP’s withdrawal of the appeal confirms that he is towing Government line in a political decision which is unconstitutional.
Against this background, we civil society organizations are of a strong and united view that the office of the DPP was interfered with and that the right course of action by Mr. Chalwe Mchenga, our DPP would have been to allow the appeal succeed and let the due process of the law prevail.
Therefore we are of the strong view that the withdrawal of the appeal amounts to conspiracy to subvert the course of justice.
We wish to reiterate the reality that Mr. Mchenga misled the public by purporting that he needed to grant fresh permission to the prosecutor to appeal. It’s an extremely unfortunate position the DPP took because according to precedent set by High Court Judge M S Mwanamwambwa’s judgement of June 5, 2008 in The People Vs Julius William Banda,- in that Judgement, it was said a prosecutor has power of immediate appeal to the High Court. According to this judgment’ and we quote, “the language of Article 56 (4) of the Constitution and sections 87 and 321 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code are clear. Applying the plain meaning rule, I hold that Article 56 (4) and sections 87 and 321 (A) do not require the Director of Public Prosecutions to issue a statutory
instrument specifically authorizing a police public prosecutor to lodge an appeal under section 321(A). Just as much as a police public prosecutor can institute and undertake criminal proceedings in the subordinate court on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, he can lodge an appeal from such proceedings to the High Court, right away. I hold that the delegated authority of a police public prosecutor under Article 56 (3) (4) and (6), and section 87 of the criminal procedure code to institute and undertake criminal proceedings on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, extend to lodging an appeal from an acquittal in the subordinate court to the High Court, when the need arises to appeal. There is no need for a fresh mandate.”
The judgement went on to reaffirm and we quote, “this equally applies to a legal practitioner who represents the Director of Public Prosecutions in criminal proceedings before any court”. Mr. Mchenga has thus betrayed public interest by withdrawing the appeal from the higher court especially that the grounds for appeal have merit. In fact the position of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is clear that there were enough grounds for the DPP to appeal. As civil society organizations we strongly endorse the action of the public prosecutors to appeal which was withdrawn in questionable circumstances by Mr. Mchenga.
4. We therefore disagree with the Minister of Justice Hon George Kunda who said the case had no appellable merits. It seems Honorable Kunda has forgotten that he was the one as Justice Minister and Attorney General during the Mwanawasa era who on behalf of the Zambian government took Dr. Chiluba to court and articulated himself very well about the merits of this case. These unfortunate events in the history of judicial system have eroded credibility of the office of the DPP and that of the Minister of Justice. It is crystal clear that these two public officers have failed to protect and uphold the Republican Constitution.
4.0 GOVERNMENTS U TURNS ON CHILUBA’S CASES
As concerned CSOs we have also noted with dismay the high level of pretence exhibited by the Vice President, and some Ministers over Dr. Chiluba’s acquittal. It is interesting to note that the same ministers who were castigating Dr. Chiluba when the late Dr. Levy Mwanawasa was President have now turned against what they were saying at that time.
We want to remind Zambians on what Government’s position was when President Mwanawasa was alive and Hon. Mike Mulongoti was Chief Government spokesman and we quote as follows.
4.1 Times of Zambia, Saturday, May 12, 2007: Main Headline; Don’t Incite Zambians,
Mulongoti tells FJT Government has said former President, Fredrick Chiluba, should have defended himself in the London High Court than attempt to incite Zambians to rise against the Government. Chief Government spokesperson, and Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Mike Mulongoti said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that Dr. Chiluba as a defendant was entitled to his opinion about the London High Court and could have argued in court if he did not refuse to defend himself.
He said he was particularly concerned with Dr. Chiluba’s attempt to summon the people of Zambia to his side but that Government has a duty to protect interests of the people when their funds are alleged to have been put to personal use by leaders like former President Chiluba whom they had entrusted to run their affairs. “Having failed to explain how much was donated and by who and considering that what was withdrawn from the ZAMTROP account followed in-flows from the Government, the judge concluded that all the money belonged to the State,” Mike Mulongoti said..
4.2 Zambia Daily Mail Newspaper of Friday November 30, 2007, Headline, Mulongoti
Challenges FTJ over allegations 5 .Mr. Mike Mulongoti castigated Dr. Chiluba and we quote,” Dr Chiluba was telling lies that Government departments had been requested to transfer their insurance policies from the Zambia State Insurance Corporation to Professional Insurance Corporation.” Mr. Mulongoti further said, “Dr. Chiluba was found liable of theft of public funds by a London Court and was still appearing in court of other cases and that was evident of how bad his regime was. Millions of Dollars were not only misappropriated by government officials but were also stolen by some former leaders who were now masqueradering as angels,.”Mulongoti said in a statement.
4.3 Zambia Daily Mail, Headline, Chiluba’s complaint baseless – Mulongoti
Chief Government spokesperson, Mike Mulongoti, says there is no basis for former President, Fredrick Chiluba, to accuse his successor, Levy Mwanawasa, of working with Britain to secure his conviction in cases of alleged corrupt practices. “I have difficulties to find any basis for Dr Chiluba to say the President has connived with Britain to secure his conviction,” he said. Mr Mulongoti said the British court had no interest in Dr Chiluba because it was merely helping Zambians to determine whether or not their complaints against the former head of State over alleged theft of public resources were justified.
In all these statements, Hon Mulongoti was very clear that former President Dr. Chiluba’s regime was involved in theft of public funds. We now wonder why he has changed position.
5.0 THE LONDON HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT
As Civil Society Organisations, we fully recognise that the process of registering the London High Court judgement is before the courts of law and it is not our intention to be contemptuous by commenting on this process. However, we would like to register our concern about the inordinate delays that this process has encountered.. We would want to encourage the Judiciary to expeditiously complete this process. We wish to serve notice as well that we are keenly following this process and eager to see the final outcomes. . We know that the London High Court Judgement is in extent of $400 million if you put all the defendants together and we do note that Government through the Taskforce has already started recovering some of the money from other defendants apart from Dr. Chiluba.
We commend the Task Force for some of the recoveries made so far against Mr. Attan
Shansonga, one of the co defendants. Former Taskforce Chairperson, Mr. Max Nkole confirmed to the nation that Boutique Basili who was making the shoes and suits for Dr Chiluba has since paid back the funds that the Boutique received.. We are happy as CSO’s that others have started paying back these funds and we look forward to the completion of the London judgement. In short, the London judgement confirms that Dr. Chiluba still has outstanding cases which need to be concluded accordingly.. It is in the best interest of all Zambians to ensure that Government must recover all public funds.
6.0 CHILUBA’S IMMUNITY
The Task Force still has several cases, which are still outstanding – this is a point that cannot be disputed or ignored We therefore wonder why Dr. Chiluba expressly wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly requesting the restoration of his immunity. The Task Force has publicly confirmed that they are investigating him on a case involving 20 million United States Dollars for the arms that were not delivered. Other matters still outstanding involve the Carlington maize saga involving $US8.5 million, (apparently Mr. Chiluba claims the similar amount of US$8m as personal money in the Zamtrop account whose sources are unknown).
The criteria of restoring Chiluba’s immunity has already been said not to be in existence in the Constitution. We would like to strongly appeal to the Speaker of the National Assembly not to entertain Chiluba’s request to restore his immunity. If Dr. Chiluba strongly thinks that he is innocent of any wrongdoing, we wonder why he is in a hurry to have his immunity restored.
In the light of the above, we demand the following:
1. That the Minister of Justice, Hon George Kunda and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Chalwe Mchenga must step down from their offices for failing the Zambian people.
2. That the Judge in Charge of the Lusaka High Court and if necessary the Chief Justice must exercise supervisory jurisdiction and call the case record in the Chiluba case and review it.
3. That Government Ministers including the Republican President must stop intimidating Zambians who have totally refused to accept the acquittal of former President Dr. Chiluba.
Our rights should not be violated simply because Government are more interested in
maintaining general harmony than promoting the rule of law; We find it annoying that
Government finds the actions of those of us who are opposed to this acquittal as causing anarchy and yet Government is quiet when cadres march in solidarity with Dr. Chiluba. We will not accept these double standards any more.
4. That the Judiciary should rise to the occasion and ensure that judicial system is not biased and compromised to serve narrow political interests of the Governors. We demand for one justice system for all Zambians- rich or poor.
5. Dr. Chiluba should stop abusing Gods name in this case as Hon. Mulongoti clearly stated that his regime stole money.
8. WAY FORWARD
1. We shall petition the Speaker of the National Assembly not to entertain Dr. Chiluba’s request for restoration of his immunity and we will picket Parliament if need be for a number of days to make our views known on this matter. In much the same way that we picketed at Parliament demanding for the lifting of Dr. Chiluba’s immunity, we will mobilize the general public to demonstrate against the restoration of the immunity – not until all cases are concluded
2. We shall immediately embark on nationwide campaigns to demand for the appeal process against the acquittal of Dr. Chiluba to go head without any hindrance. Our nationwide campaigns will equally sensitise the Zambian people to guard our justice system jealously and ensure that it is not compromised for political gain.
3. We are devising several strategies to involve the Zambians who want to make a contribution to cleaning up this country of corruption and other malpractices. For a start, we shall adopt some of the strategies which worked very well during the anti-third term campaign including honking and whistling to show support for the calls for the appeal and fight the ugly spectacle of corruption that this country is witnessing. We call upon all Zambians who love this country and are worried about corruption to wear black and honk or whistle every Friday at 17:00 hours for 10 minutes. We call upon all Ministers and Senior Government officials who hate corruption to join in this campaign.
We stopped Dr. Chiluba from going for a Third Term, we are determined to use the same system to advocate for this appeal to be heard. This is not about causing anarchy as Government would want the people to believe, this is a fight for justice.
This entire case is a clear testimony of the current Governments lack of political will to fight corruption. The lack of political will has unfortunately exerted a lot of pressure on our judiciary to start making political instead of legal judgements. We want Zambia to have one land, one nation, and one law which is our cry and not two laws one for the poor and another for the rich and powerful.
God Bless Zambia and we thank you all.