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 2010-05-10 07:30 pm Back to NEWS
Nchito’s removal isn’t surprising, says Lifuka
Mutembo Nchito was a Task Force on Corruption prosecutor

Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu has said the termination of Mutembo Nchito's contract as Task Force on Corruption prosecutor did not come as a surprise because the government has been on record trying to frustrate everyone that wants a progressive fight against corruption.

In an interview yesterday, Lungu said Nchito was proactive in instituting an appeal against the acquittal of former president Fredrick Chiluba, which he said the government had frustrated.

"This The termination of Nchito's contract has not come as a surprise. We saw it coming as TIZ because government has been on record trying to frustrate all the people that want a progressive fight against corruption," Lungu said.

He said the government had been orchestrating the slow down in the fight against corruption.
"The Vice-President George Kunda is on record accusing Mutembo Nchito of all sorts of things and we feel this was a very unfortunate move by the Vice-President," Lungu said.

Lungu said even the transfer of the Task Force on Corruption to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was just one way of disbanding it.

"That is why we have not heard the ACC coming out to update the nation on how far they have gone in investigating cases which were previously handled by the Task Force. We know they are pending cases like the Carlington maize saga, the US $20 million arms deal, so the ACC should not keep quiet on these issues because they border on huge sums of money that was not properly utilised," Lungu said.

Lungu challenged the ACC to make a public announcement and state which cases they were following up.

"We are yet to see if the lawyers that have been engaged to handle Task Force cases would be as vibrant as Mutembo," he said. "We further wish to commend Mutembo for the excellent work he did during his time as Task Force prosecutor. His work was unprecedented and we ask him not to be shaken. He occupies a special position in this country in as far as the fight against corruption is concerned."

Lungu said TIZ was aware that the government was not committed in the fight against corruption.

"We appeal to Zambians not to be discouraged by the current lack of political will to fight corruption. They should not lose hope in the fight against corruption because we are very hopeful that positive things will come out as long as we remain focused," he said.

Lungu advised the government to be careful with some of the decisions they made regarding corruption because they might have a bearing on the country's future.

"Some of the decisions government is making today will have a bearing on the future of Zambia especially on the development process because if we have a vibrant fight against corruption, some of the resources that are recovered from the fight can be channeled to development," said Lungu.

On Saturday, justice deputy minister Todd Chilembo told MUVI TV that the Director of Public Prosecutions would appoint other lawyers to continue from where Nchito ended.

He said all prosecutions in Zambia were under the charge and control of the DPP so he would not allow a vacum. Chilembo said in any case, Nchito had almost finished all his cases except for a few that were at judgment level because some cases had not taken off.

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