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 2009-08-25 03:32 pm Back to NEWS
Rupiah gave chiluba temporal joy Sata

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Michael Sata yesterday said President Rupiah Banda gave former president Frederick Chiluba temporal happiness. And veteran politician Simon Zukas said Zambians welcome the state's appeal against Ndola High Court Registrar Jones Chinyama's decision to acquit Chiluba on embezzlement charges.

Commenting on the state's filing of a notice of appeal in the Lusaka High Court against Chinyama's decision to acquit Chiluba on all counts of embezzling public funds amounting to US $500,000, Sata said Chiluba went out of his way to preach hatred at Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) on Sunday.

He said the temporal happiness was washed away by the state's notice of appeal against Chiluba's acquittal by Chinyama.

"Even if his brother did not deliver [in Luapula] last year, at least he [President Banda] has done his part. He has pulled out diplomatically and left the matter in the state. He [President Banda] has given him [Chiluba] temporal happiness. He gave him temporal happiness and went to Matero to preach hatred. But he did not know that at the time, his friend was appealing," Sata said. "So let the law take its course. He [President Banda] is a clever man. He has had it both ways. His friend is happy and the other people [state] are also happy."

Sata said Chiluba's case was a high profile one and President Banda should have been aware that the state would appeal against the former president's acquittal.

On Chiluba's statement that he campaigned for President Banda in last year's presidential elections even when other people had said that a certain politician was popular and the President would not win, Sata responded: "Ulelila tabamucheba kukanwa, at the moment our comrade has to justify the kindness of Rupiah Banda, and he can use the Church and rebels. The only contradiction is that His Excellency the President, at State House, on behalf of Zambians; he thanked the people for accepting the acquittal, and now we are wondering whether the state are included in the people of Zambia."

Sata asked both President Banda and Chiluba to take it easy and never be excited by anything.

"So, we don't know who is cheating who. That's a very high-profile case. I don't think the state would appeal without the President knowing," Sata said.

And Sata said Chiluba was using the Church to preach hatred by attacking other people.

He said Chiluba contradicted himself by saying that President Banda was unifying the nation, while he [Chiluba] in the same breath was busy attacking others.

Sata said a person like Chiluba who lived in a glasshouse should be the last one to throw stones. He said Chiluba might be lucky over his acquittal, but his wife Regina might not be.

"I think it will be wrong to have a go at the judiciary, because even the case of Regina is still on appeal. Even his case is on appeal. He is committing contempt of court by talking over Regina's matter. So the president should take it easy," said Sata.

And Zukas said Zambians would welcome the decision by the state to appeal against the judgment.

"Thousands of Zambians will welcome the news that the state is appealing against the Chinyama verdict in the Chiluba embezzlement case, which stunned all right-thinking Zambians," Zukas said. "Max Nkole and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) deserve our congratulations for restoring our nation's self-esteem. I trust that the state will also pursue without delay the registration through our courts of the London Smith verdict."

And senior chief Bright Nalubamba of the Ila people of Southern Province yesterday advised President Banda to keep away from the jubilation of Chiluba's acquittal and support the Task Force to conclude the case. 

Chief Nalubamba said he wished the Task Force on Corruption all the success in their endeavour to seek justice.

"I am sure that they would appeal even up to the highest court of appeal in this country," he said, and urged the government to support the Task Force on Corruption.

"I believe that the Task Force is a product of the state. So the state must give it the support to conclude this case to its logical conclusion," chief Nalubamba said. "The Task Force has put up very solid arguments as the reason for the appeal. If the state tries to stop the appeal, there will be pressure from Zambians."

Chief Nalubamba demanded for justice to be done in the matter.

"There must be fair play. Government must not influence... the statements from the head of state may not help the pursuance of the appeal. So I would advise my brother (President Banda) to keep away from the jubilation of the Chiluba acquittal until everything is sorted out. We must be fair, you rejoice when the final appeal has been made," he said. 

Chief Nalubamba said Chiluba was now attacking the country's judiciary by saying that it did not make legal sense that he had been acquitted, while his wife Regina, who was charged with receiving stolen property from him was found guilty by the courts.

"I don't know how you view it yourself when someone says 'how do you convict my wife and acquit me?' Who is guilty here, what is he saying?" chief Nalubamba asked. "He was asking the court to convict him, that's my understanding. This calls for the opening of his case."

And Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu has commended the State through the Task Force on Corruption for having filed an appeal in the Lusaka High Court against Chiluba's acquittal.

In an interview yesterday, Lungu said the appeal was timely and hoped it would clear the legal confusion that had existed after Chiluba's acquittal.

Lungu said it was good that the Task Force on Corruption were doing a noble job on behalf of the Zambians.

Lungu said it was sad that Chiluba had started demanding for money to be paid back to him when he had not yet been cleared on the other cases.

"The former president should remain calm until he is cleared. That's when he can start the process of claiming his money from the Zamtrop account. The Auditor General clearly said that it was wrong for Chiluba to put his private money in the government account. He should let the investigate wings carry out their job," he said.

Lungu said Chiluba should not think that Zambians hate him but they were just doing a noble thing for the Zambian people.

 
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