The Zambian Central Bank has added a new twist to the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia loan saga which director of public prosecutions Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe, both President Michael Sata’s political allies, defaulted.
According to available correspondence, Post Newspaper owner M’membe and Mutembo obtained the loan irregularly on behalf of the defunct Zambian Airways.
A director at the Central Bank in charge of Non-Bank Financial Institutions Supervision Chisha Mwanakatwe wrote in a letter on April 23, 2012 to the acting DBZ chief executive that Zambian Airways owes the public bank in excess of K18 billion.
The Central Bank has also expressed concern at the reported attempts by DBZ to stay the case which is now before the Supreme Court. M’membe and Nchito had schemed that DBZ withdraws the matter so that they are let off the hook from paying back taxpayers money.
Three judges – Nigel Mutuna, Charles Kajimanga and Phillip Musonda – were suspended after passing judgment against M’membe and Nchito for failing to pay the K14 billion loan.
President Sata held a press conference at which he described the judges corrupt and subsequently set up a tribunal to investigate alleged professional misconduct.
The three judges challenged President Sata’s decision to suspend them through judicial review and asked the High Court to stay proceedings of the tribunal to be chaired by an imported judge from Malawi Lovemore Chikopa pending determination of the matter.
Judge Fulgence Chisanga granted the three judges an application for judicial review which was challenged by the Solicitor General Musa Mwenya.
The matter on whether the judicial review about President Sata’s illegality to proceed with the tribunal or not is now before the Supreme Court and will be determined on Wednesday next week.
In the midst of the saga, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala and his deputy Dennis Chirwa were forced out of their position for refusing to bow to pressure from President Sata,
Mutembo Nchito and M’membe to rule the matter in their favour.
Finance Permanent Secretary Dr Abraham Mwenda, who served as DBZ chief executive, has also lost his position in government after giving a statement in court contrary to what his supervisors wanted him to in order to protect political allies.