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 2009-08-25 01:29 pm Back to NEWS
Chiluba has never respected the judiciary - Nkole

CHILUBA has never had any respect for the judiciary, Task Force on Corruption chairperson Maxwell Nkole has said. Commenting on the contradictions by former president Frederick Chiluba, where on one hand he has asked the nation to accept his acquittal while at the same time attacking the judiciary for convicting his wife Regina, Nkole said Chiluba could not praise his own acquittal while at the same time condemning his wife's conviction.

He said Chiluba should not even pretend to respect the judiciary.

"You can't praise your own acquittal and condemn your wife's conviction if you have any respect for the judiciary. He should accept his wife's conviction, and his wife equally has a right to appeal, and has appealed. As regards his acquittal, we had said that we accept the decision of the court, but we don't accept that he is innocent. And that is why we have appealed," Nkole said. "So if he respects the rule of law, he should allow the state to appeal against his acquittal. He has never had any respect for the judiciary. One of the reasons his cases dragged so long is because he was not respecting the timetable of the court."

On Chiluba's insistency that the private money he banked in state accounts was his, Nkole wondered why Chiluba refused to disclose which of his well-wishers put their money in the Zamtrop account.

"He refused to testify on oath to tell who the well wishers were," he said.

On Chiluba's statement that he faced the corruption charges because of spiritual warfare that was brought about as a result of his declaring Zambia a Christian nation, Nkole responded: "It is just the dirty deals which occurred during his administration. We have several cases against Chiluba. There are several issues which are outstanding including the Katebe Katoto deal."

On Chiluba's spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba's statement that the former president would be making an official request to President Banda for the disclosure and publication of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed by late president Levy Mwanawasa, the Task Force on Corruption and a few donors to secure the conviction of Chiluba, Nkole said the document did not say anything against Chiluba.

He said Chiluba was just involved in so many criminal cases, and the law should take its course.

"In any case, it [MoU] was cleared by our own Attorney General at the time, and currently the Vice-President George Kunda. You can ask him if there is anything in that document which says there is anything to fix Dr Chiluba," said Nkole. "So Mwamba is free and his boss to write to the President. And the President has also a right to talk to the Vice-President."

Addressing congregants at the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) in Lusaka's Matero compound on Sunday, Chiluba said it did not make legal sense that he was acquitted, while Regina, who was charged with receiving stolen property from him was found guilty.

And Catholic Priest Fr Joseph Besa has asked Chiluba to repent for stealing money from this country.

Delivering a sermon at St Monica Catholic Church in Mpika on Sunday, Fr Besa, whose sermon which centered on choosing Christ as personal Saviour, observed that although Chiluba was acquitted of having stolen US $500,000 by magistrate Jones Chinyama, he needed to repent if he was to enter the Kingdom of God.

He argued that being acquitted from courts of law was not a guarantee that a person was perfect and had not stolen anything because wrong doers could go scot-free on technicalities.

Fr Besa said courts of law were not guided spiritually because any person could influence them.

He added that only God had the power to forgive and as such, Chiluba should look up to Him for all the wrongs that he had committed when he was ruling the nation.

Father Besa said as a Priest, his plea to Chiluba was that he should ask for God's forgiveness because he had sinned, regardless of the court's ruling.

"As a Priest, my plea to our former president Frederick Chiluba is that he should ask for God's forgiveness because he had committed a sin, regardless of the magistrate's ruling," he said.

Fr Besa expressed shock at the verdict saying it was unfortunate that the court had to acquit Chiluba in a case, which ran for eight years and after the government spent colossal sums of money to prosecute him.

"It is mind-boggling to hear that an accused person is acquitted in a case that ran for eight years and government spent huge sums of money to prosecute [former] president Chiluba," he said.

Fr Besa called upon all God fearing people in the country to pray for Chiluba so that he could sorrowful for the wrongs he had committed during his reign.

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