Thursday, July 30, 2009

Court sets date for hearing of anti Chief Justice Sakala case

NDOLA High Court Judge Munalula Lisimba has set August 6 and 7 as dates for hearing Lusaka lawyer John Sangwa’s petition against Chief Justice Ernest Sakala and Supreme Court Judge Peter Chitengi.

This is in a case where Sangwa has asked the High Court to order Mr Justice Sakala and Mr Justice Chitengi to vacate their offices because the two were over the retirement age of 65.

Sangwa has filed the petition on behalf of his clients, Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu, who are jointly charged with former President Frederick Chiluba for alleged theft of US$500,000 public funds. The petition arises from a case in which the Supreme Court dismissed Chungu and Kabwe’s appeal against High Court Judge Evans Hamaundu’s decision, which denied them leave to apply for judicial review.

In their application for leave to apply for judicial review, Kabwe and Chungu sought an order of mandamus to oblige Ndola High Court registrar, Jones Chinyama, who sits as principal resident magistrate, to give reasons for finding them with a case to answer together with Chiluba.

Mr Sangwa said in the petition that at the time of hearing the appeal, Mr Justice Sakala and Mr Justice Chitengi had passed the retirement age of 65 stipulated in Article 98(1) of the Constitution.

He said after their retirement, the late President Mwanawasa appointed the two judges to a term not exceeding seven years, but that Parliament did not ratify the appointment.

“Their assumption of office as Supreme Court judges and their performance of the functions, without ratification by the National Assembly of the said appointment, violated Articles 1 and 93 of the Constitution,” Mr Sangwa said.

He said by virtue of such facts, his clients’ right to a fair hearing before an independent and impartial court established by law as guaranteed under Article 18(9) was violated.

Mr Sangwa said this is because the court that heard their appeal on June 2, 2009, and delivered its judgment on July 9, 2009, was not a court established by law, and that it was not independent and impartial.

He is, therefore, seeking an order restraining Mr Justice Sakala and Mr Justice Chitengi from occupying and performing their official functions until after hearing and determination of the petition.

Mr Sangwa is also seeking a declaration that the two judges’ occupation of office and performance of official functions is beyond Article 93(2) of the Constitution, hence null and void.

And in the affidavit in support of summons for an interim relief, pursuant to Article 28(1) of the Constitution, Mr Sangwa said the relief his clients are seeking is necessary because as long as the two judges continue occupying office and performing official functions, it is unlikely that the petition will receive a fair hearing.

“The first and second respondents are likely to interfere and consequently influence the judge that will hear and determine this petition.

“We have also spoken to a number of lawyers who believe that prosecuting this petition while the first and second respondents are still in office and performing the functions of the office of judge of the Supreme Court would lead to the independence of the judicature in Zambia being undermined and we have no reason to doubt this view,” Mr Sangwa said.

Before this case broke a number of anonymous documents were circulating on the internet. The following is one of them:

It is said that a Chief Justice of a country should be allowed to be as independent as possible, for citizens to access fairness and justice. But if he were unfortunately, to be held captive, he should be a captive of the State and its institutions only. But Zambia portends a different scenario where a few private individuals have held the Chief Justice captive by promising to hide his little dirty secrets while they made him help settle their personal political and legal scores.

When Mutembo Nchito faced Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube demanding cooperation from him, Ngulube must have thought that this ‘boy’ was mad to attempt to blackmail a sitting Chief Justice who enjoys constitutional protection and security of tenure.

Mutembo had come to this meeting with the ZAMTROP Account!

Ngulube thought, who would cast dirty aspersion on the head of the Fountain of Justice?

Ngulube had no idea who held state power.

He was confident that the man he swore in as Republican President just a few months ago was in charge. He was sincerely but sadly mistaken!

Within a period of 10 days, Ngulube stood disgraced and dismissed!

Many people who faced the parallel force, only as strong as the State, of Mutembo Nchito, Mark Chona and Fred Mmembe and their foreign backers, and chose to ‘defy’, ‘ignore’ or ‘scorn’ it, were steam-rolled. Their careers were ruined and dirt was piled on them.

And the parallel made Ernest Sakala the new Chief Justice of Zambia !

In order to disentangle oneself from the blackmail of such a force and exercise independence, one has to be scrupulously clean and maintain a higher level of integrity to break free from such Bondage.

But Sakala didn’t, and the cartel knew the man’s weakness.

A sexual relationship between a boss and junior is not a desirable undertaking. It exposes the boss to unethical demands and tempts him to bend or break regulations so that favours such as promotions, pay perks, pay increments and other fringe benefits can be provided unfairly to the partner. The relationship traditionally, is a skewed but mutual affair with each partner sucking blood out of the other.

History is replete with many mighty men that have fallen because of such clearly ill-fated relationships.

And The Post has kept this particular one under wraps for sometimes now.

But the chickens came to roost on 3rd April 2009 when the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and State Counsels where called for an emergency meeting (for a third time) to ratify a list of recommended persons to be appointed as Judges. The outcome left a sour taste.

Ad for the cartel, their edifice is collapsing from all fronts. The cartel have found in Rupiah Banda, a president who recognises that he is only accountable to the people of Zambia and not to a few individuals who plot and decide the fate of the country from private homes over steins of drinks.

The cartel faces its worst trying period; the edifice is being dismantled brick by brick.

For there could only be one government at a time, that should hold forte till the next elections.



When the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) emergency meeting of Council and State Counsels met to ratify recommended persons for the office of the High Court Judge, on 3rd April 2009, there was indignation and seething anger against the Chief Justice, Ernest Sakala .

The lawyers wondered why Sakala was literally compelling and pleading in the same breath, that LAZ should ratify his list of persons to be considered for appointment as High Court Judges.

The lawyers were worried that despite rejecting the same list twice under one month, Sakala was forcefully keen, that the lawyers should, nevertheless re-look at his proposal and ‘quickly’ ratify his recommended persons.

The persons under consideration were: Ms. Mwamba Chanda , Mr. Edward Luputa Musona , Mr. Jones Chinyama , Mr. Egispo Mwansa and Mrs. Chilombo Maka Phiri .


Ms. Mwamba Chanda. The 35 year old beauty is a ‘rising star’ of the Judiciary. Although she possesses no special discernible qualifications and her curriculum vitae is replete with workshops qualifications, she topped the list.

She has not met the mandatory and required 10 year qualification at the bar to be a High Court Judge. However, the Chief Justice, Ernest Sakala was forceful that she should be ratified as High Court Judge.

Chanda, who is a single mother of two, is the current Registrar of the High Court. Her duties involve giving legal advice to the Judiciary and sitting as Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), responsible for appointments, promotions, prosecution and disciplinary action against Magistrates and other judicial officers.

Some senior judges have complained that Chanda wields enormous powers at the Judiciary and carries her duties with tyrannical flavour than what is provided for.

Although women in Zambia are encouraged to hold senior positions because of gender mainstreaming policy, everyone recognises that such women should be qualified to hold such positions and the inclusion of women in decision making should not be ridden by activities that demean the women themselves during the rise to such positions.

For Mwamba Chanda , her rise to the top has been muddled with constant allegations of favouritism.

Many point to her now well-known special relationship she enjoys with the Chief Justice. This has not helped matters, and the two have been running the judiciary like a personal fiefdom of theirs!

In fact there are parallels that can be drawn between the Chief Justice Ernest Sakala and Mwamba Chanda on one hand, and Paul Dundes Wolfowitz and Shaha Riza on the other.

Many were willing to ignore this relationship justifying it as a common office fling! But Sakala began to disturbingly offer open favours and promotions to Chanda. It is these favours that highlight the comparisons with Wolfowitz.


Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia and an active architect of the second Iraq War.

He was appointed as President of the World Bank in March 2005 by President George W. Bush. The USA appoints the President for the World Bank and the European Union appoints the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Despite strong criticism against Wolfowitz owing to his role in the Iraq Ware, Bush proceeded to appoint him as President of the World Bank.

Nobel Laureate, author and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz lamented that ‘’ the World Bank will become a hate figure. Street protests and violence will begin across the developing world.’’

Another world renowned Economist and UN consultant Jeffrey Sachs called for better leadership at the World Bank.

President Bush ignored the calls and forcefully pushed the nomination and appointment of Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz quickly began to implement Bush’s policies. He also began to eliminate programs that the Bush policy opposed on religious grounds. Some of the programs that immediately began to suffer elimination were family planning programs.

However, a scandal involving Wolfowitz and his own junior staff and girlfriend Shaha Ali Riza forced him out of office in May 2007.

The Bank’s own ethics rules preclude sexual relations between a manager and a staff member serving under the member, even if one reports to the other or only indirectly through a chain of supervision.

Wolfowitz was already in breach of these ethical requirements.

Because of his long-time relations with Riza, he attempted to circumvent the rules. He directed his Human Resource Manager, to promote and offer a huge pay rise to Shaha Riza . He then sent her to serve at the US state Department.

Shaha Riza was a Libyan national with a British passport. She joined the World Bank in 1997 and specialised in the middle-east and North-Africa issues at the Bank. She met Wolfowitz when they both served at the National Endowment for Democracy Board. They were both married at the time. They also shared a strong passion to spread democracy in the Arab World.

Wolfowitz held this relationship for a long time. The contrasts were shocking. Despite being a conservative and practising Jewish religion, and married to Clare Selgin Wolfowitz, he refused to drop this illicit relationship with Riza.

Similarly, Ernest Sakala is a devout Catholic married to a decent and widely respected lady Monica Sakala and the couple have two daughters together.

Because of the ethical requirements of their offices, judges live an exclusive lifestyle. Their social interaction is limited. It is for this reason that the interaction is higher among themselves and their families.

Members of their families are a close knit with one another. Chanda’s relationship with the Chief justice Sakala has caused so much embarrassment that a wife of a certain senior judge (name with-held) and close friend of the Sakala’s remarked; ‘’She (Chanda) is like a CAT thrown among DOVES, we (the doves) all want to flee or harm her, but we can’t because she is the cat!’’

After Bush won the 2000 elections, Wolfowitz was considered and appointed as a Head of the Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA ). His appointment was nearly jeopardised as his relation with Riza, an Arab, was considered a risk to national security.

The sordid revelations regarding Riza ruined Wolfowitz’s thriving and distinguished career.


Edward Luputa Musona and Jones Chinyama have been handling the so called ‘plunder cases’ against former president, Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba and his former defence heads and other former public officials.

Musona was transferred from Kitwe to Lusaka in 2004 to handle ‘plunder cases’, and was promoted as Deputy Registrar of the High Court (Deputy Director) in 2007. He was admitted as an advocate in May 2000. A former teacher, Musona joined the Judiciary in 1988.

Jones Chinyama, like Musona was transferred to Lusaka to handle Chiluba’s cases. He was transferred from Mansa to Lusaka in 2004. He was also promoted as Deputy Registrar of the High Court in Lusaka and now Ndola . He was admitted to the bar in 2000. Chinyama, a former employee of Zambia Bata Shoe Company joined the Judiciary in 1988.

LAZ was unanimous in the rejection of the five names. The Chief Justice was informed that his list of the five persons, as he was aware, did not qualify to be appointed as High Court judges and there were neither special circumstances nor achievements requiring LAZ to ratify the appointments as special cases.

For Chinyama and Musona, the Council felt that the public would view their appointment as ‘rewards’ for their role in the cases from the Task force on Corruption. This role is currently mired in serious controversies and there are allegations of impropriety in how ‘prosecutions’ and ‘convictions’ were obtained by the Task force on Corruption.


When Mutembo Nchito burst in the Chief Justice, Mathew Ngulube ’s chambers in June 2002, he demanded that Ngulube helps lift former president Frederick Chiluba’s constitutional immunity. Mutembo was carrying the ZAMTROP account bank statements!

He informed Ngulube that the ZAMTROP account showed that a total amount of USD168, 000.00 was paid to him, his children and their school fees in London .

He also stated that he recognised that Ngulube was a renowned judge of immense credibility in Africa and was therefore not keen to be the one to soil his name with the contents of the ZAMTROP account referring to him.

He expressed ‘sadness’ that he had to come to see the Chief Justice under the circumstances but claimed that he believed that Ngulube was innocent. He lamented that Chiluba had destroyed many innocent lives and careers by involving such persons in his ‘illegal activities’. He said that the Chief Justice fell into this category and he recognised that fact and would therefore endeavour to treat him as such.

He however, demanded that the Ngulube should cooperate with ‘Civil Society’ actions that would come to the Judiciary against Chiluba in a few days time.

A few days later, a motley of civil society youth groupings led by UNIP youth leader, Frank Musonda, filed a petition before the Chief Justice, demanding that Chiluba be probed and his immunity be lifted under the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct.

On 17th June 2002, the Chief Justice Ngulube, however rejected the petition stating that the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct could not be used to probe Chiluba or lift his immunity since the code did not apply to a Head of State or a Former President: A brief press statement by the Chief Justice’s was released informing the nation that the petition had been rejected stating:

‘’The petition has not been brought under any law and indeed there is no law which I can think of which would support or authorise your petition to me.’’

With his dismissal of this petition, Ngulube provoked the fury of ‘hell’ against himself. Mutembo had earlier warned him to cooperate! And Ngulube dared to choose not to?

On 27th June 2002, The Post broke with a ‘huge story’ and ‘big one’. The story revealed that Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube had over a three-year period received from Former President Frederick Chiluba , through the ZAMTROP account, a total amount of USD168, 000.00.

The Post quickly raised a campaign demanding his dismissal.

Mutembo personally went to Ngulube’s house in Lusaka East and took a picture of ‘a mansion built from plundered resources’ and the picture was later splashed in The Post.

Meanwhile, Mutembo Nchito , Mark Chona , Fred Mmembe and Maulu Hamunjele had authored an anonymous document titled ‘Chiluba’s Matrix of Plunder- Analysis of Zambia ’s world of Theft and Abuse of Public Resources’.

The document was an analysis based on the recently declassified intelligence account. The ‘anonymous’ analysis was given to President Levy Mwanawasa and the western donor community. The document was also posted on the internet. The document was written in a sensational and scandalous manner ‘exposing’ the corruption of Chiluba and his officials.

Mwanawasa was also given a scary political scenario. They warned him that the forces (Chiluba and others) he intended to pursue were strong and evil and plotted to kill him.

The day The Post broke with the story on Ngulube, Mwanawasa issued a statement that he had ‘unearthed’ a plot to assassinate him. He revealed that his officials such as his Home Affairs Minister Lackson Mapushi were on the assassination list. Nothing became off these wild allegations.

Mwanawasa also directed that MMD cadres should not greet him through a handshake at public functions or during his departures at the airport. He also stated that he will not be daunted by the possibility of having his election victory nullified through an election petition against him that was before the Supreme Court. He stated that he will simply run again.

Mwanawasa took other measures. He fired his Minister of Information Vernon Johnson Mwaanga and suspended him from the position of MMD National Secretary.

In response to the dismissal VJ wrote to Mwanawasa. In the letter, VJ made the now famous remark to Mwanawasa; ‘’Your Excellency, you have a strange way of showing gratitude to people that help you’’.

In fact the relationship between Mwanawasa and VJs became a cyclical political circus of hiring and firing.

In his second term of office Mwanawasa re-appointed Mwaanga as Member of Parliament, Chief Whip, Minister of Information, Chief Government Spokesperson and MMD NEC Trustee Member.

After the Congo debacle Mwaanga was unceremoniously removed from all positions. Mwanawasa’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, John Musukuma announced on April 12th 2007 that Hon. Vernon Mwaanga had his nomination as Member of Parliament revoked and was fired as Chief Whip, Minister of Information, and Chief Government Spokesperson and was removed from his position as MMD NEC trustee member.

However VJ has he is fondly known, has more political lives than the proverbial cat with its nine lives. He is back again in the saddle as Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Chief Whip in Rupiah Banda’s government.


On June 29th 2002, Registrar of the High Court Timothy Katenekwa announced that Ngulube would go on immediate leave pending retirement.

The Post ran stories deriding Ngulube and demanding for an outright resignation so that he could not be allowed to enjoy the benefits of a retirement package. The onslaught was led by First Republican President, Kenneth Kaunda who urged Mwanawasa to arrest his ‘assassins’ and ‘coup plotters’. KK also called for the immediate resignation of Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube .

Ngulube gave in.

On August 7th 2002, Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations to President Mwanawasa Arthur Yoyo announced that Ngulube had tendered his resignation to Mwanawasa and the president had accepted his resignation.

Ngulube was summoned to the newly created Task Force on Corruption to answer charges relating to the USD168, 000.00. Ngulube was among other things requested to file tax returns with ZRA.

ZRA demanded that Ngulube pays tax on the USD168, 000.00!

Ngulube, through his lawyer Vincent Malambo , refused stating that there was no law compelling him to pay tax on received gifts.

He appealed to the Zambia Revenue Authority Revenue Tribunal. The tribunal was chaired by one of Mwanawasa’s lawyer in the Presidential Election Petition, Michael Mundashi . Ngulube argued that he could not be expected to pay tax on monies he received as gifts from Second Republican President Frederick Chiluba.

Mundashi sitting with Newton Lungu and Timothy Mushibwe however exempted monies received by Ngulube’s wife and children for school fees stating that: ‘’the Income Tax Act exempts income received in respect of a scholarship or bursary for purpose of education.’’

Ngulube’s lawyer, Vincent Malambo had argued that his client received monies from Chiluba occasionally and seasonally as gifts as Ngulube enjoyed a personal friendship with Chiluba.

Malambo stated that that the receipts of these funds by Ngulube were not connected to his job as Chief Justice and though it had emerged that the money came through an intelligence account, ZAMTROP, to his knowledge, it was not government money.

Who could have believed Malambo’s and Ngulube’s assertions at this stage?

It has since emerged that audits from PricewaterHouseCoopers, and Grant Thornton UK have established that the ZAMTROP account held private and third party funds totalling over USD8.5 million.

In the Judgement of the Presidential Petition between Anderson Kambela Mazoka and others versus Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC, the Supreme Court established among other things that, former president Frederick Chiluba received private monies from friends and well wishers and monies spent on such things as motor vehicles could NOT have been deemed as government money since the ZAMTROP account held private monies other than government funds. The Supreme Court dismissed the petition and upheld that despite some irregularities, Mwanawasa was duly and properly elected.

Although Mmembe and The Post chose to denounce Ngulube and continually demanded his resignation, they had sung high praises for him and were actually given a four-month prison sentence by Parliament for defending Ngulube. They did not serve the sentence though.

Following a Supreme Court Judgement delivered by Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube in 1996, there was a hysterical furore from the MMD . This Judgement expunged from Statute, some sections of the Public Order Act (POA).

This followed the case of Christine Mulundika and Seven Others Vs The People. Mulundika challenged the constitutionality of the Public Order Act. High Court Judges then, David Lewanika ruled against Mulundika.

On appeal, the Supreme Court, Ngulube overturned the judgement of the lower court. The Supreme court ruled on January 10th 1996, that provisions in the Public Order Act that required citizens to obtain police permits were in conflict with the Constitution and were therefore null and void.

This judgement resulted in angry and vicious attacks against the Supreme Court Judges by a pack of senior MMD officials led by Vice-President Godfrey Miyanda , Legal Affairs Minister Remmy Mushota and Ernest Mwansa .

Mushota accused Chief Justice Ngulube, his Deputy, Bonaventure Bweupe, and Justice Ernest Sakala of being vehement supporters of the opposition United National Independence Party (UNIP). He was silent though on the party affiliation of Justices Bonaventure Bweupe and Chaila.

On January 28th 1996, Vice-President Godfrey Miyanda tabled before parliament an amendment bill to the Public order Act. The proposed amendment virtually restored the expunged sections. He opened his address with a torrent of attacks against the Supreme Court accusing it of hijacking the legislative functions of the House.

A robust defence for Ngulube came from The Post. Its columnist Lucy Sichone , fred Mmembe and editor Bright Mwape. The Post expressed disgust that politicians led by Miyanda had the audacity to cast dirty allegations against men of high integrity such as Ngulube.


Lucy Banda Sichone was renowned human rights activist and was Chairperson of Zambia Civic Education Association. She had a weekly column in The Post titled ‘’ Lucy Sichone on Monday’’, (She died at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) on 23rd August 1998)

In her column, Lucy criticised Miyanda and questioned his credibility and sense of gratitude because the man he was attacking, Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube had literary saved his life when Miyanda was arraigned before court with a treason charge.

‘’Miyanda cannot forget the courage of one judge (Mathew Ngulube), who refused to sit and hear his case until his jailers removed the chains with which he was shackled with in a court room. Miyanda could not have forgotten that in the circumstances of the Second Republic, it took men of courage and integrity to acquit him of a crime he did not commit, but for which government had decreed him guilty. The judges risked their necks for Miyanda’s constitutional rights to equality, justice, and protection of the law’’.

Lucy continued:

‘’Miyanda could only make his cowardly statement and attack a decision made by men of (high) stature, dignity and integrity of Mathew Ngulube from behind the protective skirts of grandmother Nabulyato!’’

She chastised;

‘’ If Miyanda was an honest man, he could not have lined up political violence which is being fanned by himself.....the Veep will just have to be man enough and abolish the Bill of Rights as it exists in the Constitution and rule in the manner everyone including his colleagues in the MMD know he would like to rule - as a Christian Abacha!’’


Mmembe wrote in his ‘’ Fred ’s Diary’’ that Miyanda’s reaction was ‘justified’ as the MMD had lost a vantage point with this Judgement.

Miyanda raised a point of order and complained to the Speaker, Dr. Robinson Nabulyato expressing dismay at the articles in The Post. The Speaker found Lucy Sichone, Fred Mmembe and Bright Mwape guilty of contempt and referred the matter that the Standing Orders Committee for sentencing.

The Committee summoned the trio who refused to turn up and went into hiding. On 22nd February 1996, The Committee informed Special Projects Editor, Matsauso Phiri that it had sentenced Sichone, Mmembe and Mwape until the demonstrated contrition.

Whilst they were in hiding, Parliament directed that the Inspector General of Police should arrest and detain the trio until the House reviewed the matter.

It was therefore strange that Mmembe led a pack of wolves that hounded Ngulube out of office even before sufficient facts could be allowed to emerge or a decent exist could be arranged.


At this stage, David Lewanika was the Deputy Chief Justice. However President Mwanawasa was advised by Mark Chona , Mutembo Nchito and others that Ernest Sakala was suitable to take over as Chief Justice.

Besides, they argued that Sakala was also by-passed when Lewanika, who was his junior, was promoted as Deputy Chief Justice by Chiluba.

They advised that the fact that Sakala had passed a minority judgement against Frederick Chiluba in the Presidential Petition of 1996 was suitable to offer ‘positive leadership’ to Chiluba’s trials.

On February 10th 1997 Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika, Hicunga Evaristo Kambaila, Dean Namulya Mungomba, Sebastian Saizi Zulu , and Jennipher Mwaba filed a petition in the Supreme Court disputing the 1996 Electoral Victory of Chiluba.

The petitioners demanded that Chiluba’s election be nullified as he was not qualified to contest and consequently hold office. They alleged that Chiluba falsely swore that he was Zambian, and that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) neglected their statutory duty and conducted a fraudulent election that was devoid of principles of a free and fair poll.

The bench comprised of Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube , his deputy Bonaventure Bweupe , and David Lewanika , Ernest Sakala and Dennis Chirwa .

The Judgement of the petition was split 3-2. Ngulube, Bweupe and Lewanika ruled that the election was held in a free and fair atmosphere despite some irregularities. They stated that citizenship in Zambia came with the national independence that decreed that those who were in Zambia before and in 1964 and were born in Northern Rhodesia became Zambians automatically.

Ernest Sakala ruled that the election were fraudulently held.

Dennis Chirwa ‘established’ that Chiluba’s citizenship was in question and the elections were held in a fraudulent manner.

It was a close shave.

The matters of the 1996 Presidential Petition thrust Sakala to hold the position of Chief Justice. Mutembo advised Mwanawasa that the anti Chiluba feelings displayed by the two judges were good ground to begin with ‘the project’.

Mwanawasa was advised that he needed a judge that was antagonistic to Chiluba as Chief Justice as the matters he was to embark on were so serious that he needed close allies and Chiluba’s perceived ‘enemies’ on all fronts if the arrest, prosecution and jailing of Chiluba would succeed. Mwanawasa was advised to appoint persons deemed hostile to Chiluba to succeed in the campaign which they planned to unleash.


President Mwanawasa led a troubled Presidency. He had narrowly won the election with only 29%. He faced severe criticism from the opposition, donors and an internal party rebellion was threatening his thin political base.

He faced a very damaging presidential petition in the Supreme Court.

He did the ‘unthinkable’. He broke ranks with Chiluba and his colleagues. This earned him some new but ‘valuable’ friends in Mark Chona , Mutembo Nchito and Fred Mmembe .

He also embraced all known Chiluba’s enemies of all hues and shades.

Chona promised to mobilise the donor community to the side of Mwanawasa. Mmembe promised to ‘finish’ Chiluba through incessant attacks in The Post and Mutembo assured to rally the new Chief Justice, Ernest Sakala and the rest of the legal fraternity when the cases were ready for investigations and prosecutions.

The common thread that bound them all was – Frederick Chiluba .

Mwanawasa was advised that his political life and political fortunes could only rise on the ashes of Chiluba! Nothing more, and nothing less.

With Mwanawasa, western donors, and the trio (Chona, Mmembe and Mutembo) working in coordinated concert, matters occurred at a break-neck speed against Chiluba.

In February 2002, Mwanawasa’s Agriculture Minister, Mundia Sikatana issued a statement in The Post that Chiluba and his colleagues stole USD90million meant for the bail-out of Meridien Bank.

Chiluba sought to see Mwanawasa over the allegations. At their meeting Chiluba demanded that Mwanawasa directs that Mundia Sikatana apologises. Mwanawasa apologised to Chiluba and promised that such unfounded allegations were regrettable and would therefore not be levelled against him again.

A few days later, Sikatana repeated the allegations and promised Zambians that he knew where the USD90million was in Bahamas . He said if sent, he could recover this money!

On 22nd February 2002, Chiluba held a press conference at Lusaka House where the MMD Secretariat is housed. As MMD Party President, he called for unity in the party and denied numerous reports referring to internal divisions between the party and Mwanawasa’s newly formed government.

Following a court action by Dipak Patel that barred Chiluba from accessing his pensions and benefits, he stepped down as MMD party President on March 23rd 2002.

Mwanawasa later visited the Party Secretariat to ‘familiarise himself’ and issued a scathing attack against Chiluba calling him a ‘liability’ to the party.

On July 11th 2002, Mwanawasa summoned a special session of Parliament and urged the House to lift Chiluba’s immunity so that he could face prosecution for fraud, theft and Corruption.

After Parliament lifted Chiluba’s immunity, his lawyers Robert Simeza and John Sangwa filed an action on July 17th 2002, to challenge Parliament’s decision. On the same day, Mwanawasa announced the formation of the Task Force on Plunder of National Resources to probe Chiluba’s 10 years as president.

High Court Judge Anthony Nyangulu granted an interim order blocking Chiluba’s prosecution.

First President Kenneth Kaunda issued a statement to BBC that Chiluba should face criminal prosecution for his corruption. He dismissed Chiluba’s earlier calls that KK’s immunity should be lifted too.

During this period, the High Court nullified parliamentary seats of Chiluba’s perceived key political followers. Michael Mabenga of Mulobezi, Levison Mumba of Msanzala, Catherine Namugala of Isoka East had all their seats nullified. They appealed to the Supreme Court. (In the Supreme Court, Mabenga and Levison Mumba lost and the court even directed that Mabenga be arrested for his involvement of CDF funds!)

The judicial machinery was beginning to grind and crank- though ’painfully’ slow for the initiators.

On August 30th 2002, a month after Chiluba’s challenge in the High Court, the Lusaka high Court ruled that there was no impropriety in the manner Parliament lifted Chiluba’s immunity. Officers from the TaskForce were meanwhile camped at Chiluba’s Kabulonga residence when Judge Anthony Nyangulu was reading his verdict!

Mutembo had informed Mwanawasa that Chiluba kept ‘millions’ at his residence and was using this money to fight his cases and fanning political tension.

During the night of 31st August, 2002, officers stormed Chiluba’s house bearing a search warrant for drugs and other narcotics substance, conducted a search that lasted over seven hours. The search yielded nothing.

However, quick action by his lawyers saved Chiluba when they hastily obtained a stay of execution while they appealed to the Supreme Court. But this did not last long!

On February 19th 2003, the Supreme Court led by new Chief Justice Ernest Sakala unanimously dismissed Chiluba’s appeal and cleared the way for Chiluba to be investigated.

Kenneth Kaunda, Dean Mungomba (Zambia Alliance Party ( ZAP )) and Emily Sikazwe (Women for Change) were on hand to issue celebratory statements and demanded for the quick arrest and prosecution of Chiluba.

However Fred Mutesa from the University of Zambia – Department of Development Studies issued a caution statement (to UN information Service- IRIN -19/02/03)warning that the Judgement had far-reaching ramifications on Mwanawasa’s own election petition before the same Supreme Court;

‘’I think as a deterrent against corrupt leaders, the decision is good. But this has set a precedent that has long term ramifications that will not spare Mwanawasa and his friends.’’

Michael Sata leader of the budding Patriotic Front (PF) wondered what the Supreme Court had done with such a Judgement. He demanded the same fairness be applied from the Supreme Court when dealing with Anderson Mazoka’s petition against Mwanawasa. He charged that Mwanawasa could not escape but have his election victory nullified;

‘’the trial has now moved to Mwanawasa, he must tell the court how much Chiluba stole, and how much he(Mwanawasa) personally benefitted.’’

It never came to be. The forces of Mmembe, Mutembo and Mark Chona went to work. Sakala ‘delivered’. The election of Mwanawasa was upheld!

On 16th February 2005, the Supreme Court ruled (the Judgement took 12hours to read) that despite the corruption allegations, the use of government vehicles, and the provision of cheaper mealie meal to residents of Copperbelt, Northern and Luapula provinces, and the abuse of the public media by the MMD during the elections, Mwanawasa was duly and properly elected.

Anderson Mazoka expressed shock at the outcome stating that despite providing credible evidence that warranted the nullification of Mwanawasa’s election, it was not conceivable that Ernest Sakala and ‘his men’ could rule in favour of Mwanawasa.

The alliance was complete.


The fight against corruption and the investigations and prosecution of former president Frederick Chiluba seem to have brought the worst traits in those keen to nail him and his former officials.

When Mpanzi Sinyangwe, Spokesperson for the Task Force on Corruption announced on 31st March 2004, that former ambassador to the United States of America , Attan Shansonga had fled the country and escaped to unknown places, Zambians greeted the news with indignation. How could Attan escape when the State had his passport? How could he flee when the State was conducting regular surveillance on him and other Chiluba’s co-accused?

Zambians later learnt with shock that the so called disappearance was a hoax!

Shansonga wrote a letter from London to his lawyers that was read in Court on 26th April 2004, giving sordid details how first republican president Kenneth Kaunda, Task Force Prosecutor Mutembo Nchito and Chairman, Mark Chona facilitated Shansonga’s exist to the United Kingdom. He revealed that he held various meetings with the trio. Shansonga held dual citizenship. He was both Zambian and British too.

The letter further disclosed that he was informed that Mutembo had seen the Chief Justice, Ernest Sakala who made undertakings and other assurances that after Shansonga turns and testifies against Chiluba, immunity from prosecution on these matters would be granted to Shansonga!

Shansonga was also asked to cooperate in cases regarding the ‘fraud’ involving copper sales in the 1990s.

The letter was so damning that magistrate Jones Chinyama cited Mark Chona with Contempt of Court for facilitating an accused person travel outside the court’s jurisdiction without permission.

However when Chona appeared before Chinyama, he gave some feeble excuse and strangely, Chinyama let him loose.

Chiluba called for international Observers from the, Southern Africa Community Development (SADC) African Union (AU) and the Commonwealth, to attend his trial as he feared that his cases were pre-determined and prejudged.

Chiluba wondered how fair his trial would be if Chief justice Sakala was sitting and plotting with Kaunda , Chona and Mutembo Nchito. He feared that the personal involvement of Sakala against him had rendered the case a sham.

However, the Commonwealth refused to send Observers to Chiluba’s trial. Whilst visiting Zambia in July 2004, Secretary General Florence Mugasha stated that the Commonwealth had no mandate to monitor court cases.

‘’We received the former president’s official request but we felt that we do not the mandate to hear court cases in member countries.’’ She said to the Zambia Daily Mail (19th July 2004).

Mugasha refused to comment about the Commonwealth’s call to have Observers attend court trial in Zimbabwe where the opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change ( MDC ) had challenged the electoral victory in court.

Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata called for the setting up of a tribunal to probe Sakala for mis-conducting himself and averting the course of Justice.

This was not the only time Sakala was involved in making deals with the Task Force on Corruption.

When the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between, Ministry of Finance (Ngandu Magande), TaskForce on Corruption (Mark Chona), Office of the President (Levy Mwanawasa) and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Kingdoms of the Netherlands and Sweden. Sakala ensured that the MOU was quickly operationalised.

When magistrate Bibian Kearns acquitted Xavier Chungu , Katele Kalumba , Stella Chibanda , Professor Mweene and Yotamu Zulu, Mutembo was so annoyed that he saw the Chief Justice, Ernest Sakala about it.

What happened next was drastic! Mrs. Kearns was transferred. Her husband, a lawyer, was investigated by Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and had his licence revoked!

Similarly when Douglas Zulu released Xavier Chungu on bail, he faced similar action. Mutembo accused him of corruption and authorities transferred him to Livingstone .

The charge of motor vehicle theft was not bailable at the time. But the law was only recently enacted in November 2001. Zulu ruled that the law is not applied retrospectively. The charges Chungu faced were alleged to have been committed in 1998 and the revocation of bail by the new law could therefore not apply to him.

Principal Resident Magistrate Frank Tembo who handled some cases resigned in unexplained circumstances and went to private practice.

Mwamba Chanda who was handling the case of Lt Gen. Geojago Musengule and Amon Sibande was transferred to the Copperbelt. She is said to have complained to the Chief Justice Ernest Sakala about her abrupt transfer. This seems to have formed her first contact with Sakala. She was brought back to Lusaka , and was later promoted as Deputy Registrar of the High Court.

Magistrate Peter Chanda who handled Chungu’s cases was accused of corruption by Mutembo and was transferred to Siavonga.

Mutembo made Chief Justice Sakala reign havoc on the lower courts.

This relationship between the Taskforce on Corruption and Chief Justice has continued to be a strange one.

Even as late as 10th August 2006, Maxwell Nkole , the new Task Force Chairman, wrote to the Chief Justice Ernest Sakala about a magistrate Leah Banda Tembo who was handling Musengule’s case.

In the letter Nkole was expressing dismay that Tembo was due to leave for Japan for further studies.

Nkole wrote;

‘’It must be said that Mrs. Tembo has conducted herself in a most mature and professional way which is most admirable. We have no doubt that she will continue to be most valuable member of the Judiciary. We hope that she can advance herself academically....the accused is under arrest and his liberty is at stake. We are mindful that we are prosecuting a former Army Commander.....this matter should not be allowed to pend as it will not be in the public interest.

Your Lordship, we would be grateful if arrangements were made for the magistrate to finish her case before she leaves.’’

Nkole as a lawyer knew that such secret communications with the Judiciary on the administration of Justice is illegal. The Judiciary is expected to be independent and cannot be at the direction or control of any outside force or person. But it must be noted that the MOU envisaged and ‘provided’ for such illegal contacts!

Tembo proceeded to Japan and handled Musengule’s case only during her recess and Christmas Holidays! Despite the overwhelming presence of other magistrate, Sakala allowed her to handle this case in this manner.

The MOU called for the hand-picking of magistrate to handle Task Force cases for the expected provisions relating to the magistrates.

The MOU also granted ‘easy access’ for the Task Force on Corruption to the Judiciary!

The MOU also created a fund, the Anti-Corruption Fund ( ACF ) held in the United Kingdom . The fund was operated outside government regulations and under the control of Crown Agents.

Donors have provided similar funds in the past, but such funds for programs against Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other programs are always remitted to Zambian bank accounts and are regulated by government regulations.

This account was run differently. It gave Mark Chona a free hand.

Despite strong allegations against serious abuse of this fund, Mark Chona has proceeded to live a dignified life. The same donors, who gave funds to this account, have helped Chona with his ‘charity’ organisations.

Chona has formed Matantala Rural Integrated Development Enterprise (M-Ride). His functions are usually attended by high ranking embassy officials from the British, Norwegian, Swedish and other embassies.


When the Auditor General ISSUED an Inspection Report on 17th October 2006, that incriminated the Chief Justice’s office the report was not known by the public thanks to The Post who refused to carry the stories surrounding this debacle!

The report cited cases of abuse of imprest by the Chief Justice amounting to K168million.

When Sakala was invited to Tanzania in May 2004 to commemorate 25th Anniversary of the appeals court, the government of the Republic of Tanzania paid for all expenses relating to food, accommodation and transport. Sakala’s office never retired the excess payments.

Other trips were cited where irregular payments were made to the Chief Justice and his wife, Monica, who is not even entitled to such advances.

Strangely, the Auditor General Anna Chifungula whose officers had unearthed the dirty scams at the Judiciary and the Chief Justice’s office issued a public statement that ‘’issues surrounding audit queries at the Judiciary have been resolved and all imprests have been retired.’’

The final audit report never reflected the primary concerns issued in the inspection reports!

Sakala activities with Chanda have remained unreported and even when ‘whistle blowers’ have taken the information to The Post, there is a deafening silence.

There was ‘embarrassing speculations’ about the circumstances surrounding the sudden sickness and evacuation of Sakala to South Africa , have never been laid to rest.

But now that more people know more about the stories that The Post use for blackmail, the cat is out of the bag.


Mutembo and his forces have remained largely unscathed even in the face of serious and credible allegations of impropriety. Liquidators of Zambian Airways have discovered serious irregularities.

The liquidators have wondered how the Patent and Company Registration (PACRO) kept both Zambian Airways Company and its fore-runner Mine Air Services ltd. Mutembo procured most of the statutory debt on Zambian Airways Company but obtained private loans on Mine Air Services (trading as Zambian airways)! Outright fraud!

Even in the face of calls for resignation Mutembo remains calm and the infrastructure he and his friends set at the Judiciary remains intact. And they Joke that Rupiah Banda might have his political power but they have their powers too.

Is the Chief Justice a Captive or willing participant?

The verdict on Dora Siliya is a typical example of the two centres of power. How can Dora Siliya in one breath be cleared but be clearly be incriminated in another.

The findings have made Both Rupiah Banda and Mmembe and Mutembo are celebrating!

How could an experienced Judge such as Dennis Chirwa pass such an ambiguous judgement? It is simple. To save themselves, they need to impress both Rupiah Banda and the Cartel.

It brings a de’javu feeling. This is what The Esau Chulu Tribunal did to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mukelebai Mukelebai. On one hand, Mukelebai was cleared of all charges yet the tribunal recommended that he be retired in national interest!

Chulu had to please Mwanawasa and the Cartel but also ‘protect’ the integrity of Mukelebai.

History repeats itself!

Rupiah Banda might be President but the Cartel continues to run parallel processes.

But both forces are on the spotlight.


Nawakwi joins impeachment debate

Nearly three weeks ago the Patriotic Front and the United party for National Development (UPND) announced a pact that will see the two political parties fielding one presidential candidate. To show how serious the two political parties are they have fielded one candidate to fight the Chitambo parliamentary seat left vacant by the death of the sitting Movement for Multiparty Democracy MP.

But what appears to have raised a lot of dust from the two political parties is their call for President rupiah Banda to be impeached. The present sitting of the National Assembly is likely to see such a motion raised in parliament for debate. A number of ngos have condemned the move.

Citizens Forum executive secretary Simon Kabanda says the PF/UPND pact has not articulated the issue to make Zambians understand the reasons why they want President Banda impeached. Kabanda said it was difficult to understand why the parties wanted an impeachment when they had failed to articulate the reasons.

Former UPND vice-president, Patrick Chisanga also says the basis of the pact’s argument for the impeachment was difficult to understand. Chisanga said impeachment was a serious matter and those involved in moving such a motion should ensure the sovereignty and integrity of the country was not compromised.

Now Forum For Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi has joined the impeach the president debate. She says there are no constitutional breaches to constitute the impeachment of President Rupiah Banda.

Nawakwi said July 29 that appointing of former Communications Minister, Dora Siliya and MMD national chairperson, Michael Mabenga as Minister of Education and Lands Deputy Minister did not constitute violation of the Constitution.

She said the proposed impeachment being initiated by the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) pact was vanity because it appeared to have no basis.

She said the president was also an MP and that impeaching him at this time would also mean dissolution of Parliament and wondered if parliamentarians would be willing to entertain such a motion.

She urged Zambians to focus on national development and wait for 2011 in which the next elections would be held.

Fires on Peer Review body raise dust

VICE-President George Kunda has revoked the appointment of Zambia National Women’s Lobby Group (ZNWLG) chairperson, Tamala Kambikambi as chairperson for the National Governing Council of the African Peer Review Mechanism. The move has raised quite some dust with both the opposition and non governmental organisations claiming this would undermine the APRM's capacity and ability to operate independently.

But Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary Gertrude Imbwae says in a statement issued in Lusaka July 29 that Kambkambi was removed because she was also serving on the National Constitutional Conference (NCC). She says Zambia Centre for Inter Party Dialogue (ZCID) spokesperson, Langtone Sichone was also dropped from the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on similar grounds.

Imbwae said other members of the APRM were removed because they had made their anticipated contributions to the initiative and were not expected to add anything further.

She said 12 members including Press Association of Zambia (Paza) vice-president, Amos Chanda, former presidential adviser, Arthur Yoyo and politician Ludwig Sondashi were removed because they had achieved the contribution to the APRM.

Further Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary, James Mulungushi, George Chabwera representing employers and Namukolo Mukutu from the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) were removed because they did not attend any APRM meeting.

But the explanation has not gone well with opposition political parties and non government organisations who see the matter diffeently.

And Chanda refuted reports that he was dropped as APRM spokesperson because he was against the prosecution of Post news editor Chansa Kabwela. He said he was officially informed that he had been removed from the APRM because of the re-organisation of the National Governing Council (NGC) and not because of a statement he made as Paza vice-president.

He thanked Vice-President Kunda and the Government for according him a chance to serve on the APRM since March 1, 2009 when he was appointed spokesperson.

DEC arrest two on money laundering charge

Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in Lusaka arrested an accountant of Finca Zambia Limited for alleged money laundering amounting to K61 million. DEC public relations and Press liaison officer, John Nyawali said in a statement July 29 that Innocent Wangwamba, 25, of Kabanana Site and Service was arrested together with Beauty Chipema for money laundering.

Nyawali said Wangwamba, while acting with Chipema and other persons allegedly laundered the money that belonged to the company using Chipema’s account, at one of the commercial banks.

Bandits snatch K1bn, kill two Bank employees

BANDITS in Western Province on July 29 killed two Finance Bank employees and got away with K1 billion they were transporting from Mongu to to the Finance Bank branch at Kaoma.

Police spokesperson, Bonny Kapeso confirmed the robbery July 29, saying a third Finance Bank employee and two police officers who accompanied the bank staff were wounded and are admitted at Kaoma District Hospital.

Kapeso said the bandits waylaid the motor vehicle on the Mongu-Kalabo Road at Namaseche, some 20 kilometres west of Kaoma Boma where they opened fire causing the motor vehicle to overturn. He said the incident happened around 13:00 hours and only K41 million was recovered at the scene of the crime.

He said the two Finance Bank employees were killed on the spot and two hand grenades were found at the scene. The bandits were suspected to have used military firearms.

He said the bandits were on foot and police have launched a manhunt of the bandits.