The Taskforce on Corruption has ignored the advice of the Director of
Public Prosecutions (DPP) to wait until he studies the judgment on the acquittal
of former president, Frederick Chiluba before challenging the verdict in a
In a letter dated August 21, 2009, Task Force executive
chairman Maxwell Nkole asked private prosecutors, MNB Legal Practitioners to
prepare and file the grounds of appeal to a higher court when the DPP had
written that the process awaits a study of the judgment, which had not yet been
"Although we have not yet obtained a copy of the judgment to
study the reasons given for the acquittal, we however, believe that there are
good grounds of appeal, and you are in a position to understand the judgment
much better and file the appeal.
"We request that you prepare and file
grounds of appeal immediately so that a higher court can review the totality of
evidence adduced against Dr Chiluba and give us further guidance," Mr Nkole
Mr Nkole said in the letter copied to the DPP, President Rupiah
Banda and the attorney general that the acquittal of Dr Chiluba had raised
concern from various sectors of society.
But DPP Chalwe Mchenga said in a
letter also dated August 21, 2009, that he would only be able to decide whether
the State should appeal after studying the judgment.
"My position is that
before any appeal is lodged, a copy of the judgment must be obtained and
submitted to my office for scrutiny. After reading the judgment , I will be in a
position to indicate whether an appeal should be lodged or not," Mr Mchenga
But Mr Nkole went ahead and instructed that an appeal should be
Task Force prosecutor, Mutembo Nchito said in an interview in
Lusaka that following the instructions from Mr Nkole, he prepared and filed the
grounds of appeal yesterday in the Lusaka magistrate's court criminal
"We have filed the notice of appeal stating the grounds of
appeal," Mr Nchito said.
In an unsigned copy of the grounds of appeal
provided by Mr Nchito, the prosecutors have given seven reasons why they feel
that the trial magistrate erred when he failed to convict Dr Chiluba.
Chiluba's lawyer, Robert Simeza, however, expressed ignorance regarding the
filing of the grounds of appeal, saying he had searched in all the criminal
registries and found nothing.
The Committee of Citizens (CC) said
yesterday that the Taskforce on Corruption does not have the right on any
Government matter and there is no way it could appeal against the judgment in Dr
CC executive director, Gregory Chifire said in a
statement that according to article 56 (4) (5) (6) of the Republican
Constitution, the Taskorce had no locus standi, or right, on any government
Mr Chifire said that the Constitution mandated only the DPP to
appeal to a superior court in any criminal case and therefore Mr Nkole could not
discharge that duty.
"We are extremely disappointed with the manner Mr
Nkole has continued to mislead the nation on this matter and do urge the
Republican president to immediately relieve him of his duties before he
embarrasses himself on matters of law.
"To begin with, the Taskforce on
Corruption does not have a locus standi on any GRZ legal matters. According to
article 56 (4)(5)(6), the Constitution mandates only the director of public
prosecution with such matters," he said.
He said claims by Mr Nkole that
the Taskforce now wanted to pursue the Carlington maize saga and the arms deal
should not be entertained as it was only meant to justify their
"Mr Nkole should not use black mail in order to justify the
existence of the Taskforce. Time has come for the Taskforce to be disbanded so
that the already existing investigating and prosecuting wings of Government can
be empowered to enhance their operations.
"These claims by Mr Nkole are
driven by the huge allowances he and his colleagues in the Taskforce are getting
and not by the desire for service to Zambia," he said.
Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) said that the due process of the
law should be exhausted in the case of Dr Chiluba.
NGOCC board publicity
secretary Juliet Chibuta said in Lusaka yesterday that it would be in the best
interest of the nation to ensure that the case was brought to its logical