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Thursday, 10 September 2009

Frederick Chiluba - Court Judgement

The court judgement as passed in the recent trial of Former President Frederick Chiluba. Many thanks to a good friend of the Zambian Economist who has made this report available to us. We continue to rely on like minded Zambians as we push the envelope of information sharing wider and wider. We don't have to wait for GRZ to publish these things, we have the power to do it ourselves by sharing information through channels like this one.
Frederick Chiluba Corruption Trial - Court Judgment 2009


  1. I don’t see anywhere in this document where it states the Mr. Banda or Mr. Kunda had a hand in assuring FTJ was found "not guilty". What I do see is that despite all the evidence the task force claims to have on FTJ's corruption, they picked the weakest case to go to court with.

    Don’t the Nchito's know that to secure a conviction you have to prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt? Are the Nchito’s not one of the top rated lawyers in Zambia? Or maybe this whole task force escapade was used merely to keep Levy's foes in check so that he could secure complete control of the party and not necessarily bring FTJ to book. This would explain why those who were involved in corruption during FTJ’s rule escaped justice when they defected from MMD to PF.

    Never-the-less, the entire effort and funding made toward this task force is a complete waste of time and money. Lawyers have made millions of dollars on these cases and the results are petty. Furthermore, the effort is wasteful because the majority of Zambians just don’t subscribe to this idea of fixing their past leaders. The whole ordeal is in itself is a case of corruption by Zambian popular standards.

    To every leader there is a tool for managing issues. Levy was a good lawyer and as such, his tool was the administration of law. Using the law, he governed our country and kept his opponents in check, including Sata who was arrested and detained for theft of motor vehicle. Levy’s weakness was his inability to develop and foster political strength. But this was expected because he was a lawyer and not a politician. Therefore, Levy was destined to reduce MMD’s popularity to unprecedented levels, winning elections on shoe string.

    The democrats in the USA withdrew their court action against the election of George W. Bush after the government agreed to mend the electoral loophole that gave the republicans the upper hand at the end of the vote count. Differently, for seven years we have been prosecuting FTJ for corruption and yet we have done nothing to mend the loop holes in the system. The same accounts that were alleged to have been abused by FTJ are alleged to have been used to send US$4 million to France when Levy was hospitalized there. Yet the French government claims to have taken care of all costs relating to Levy’s medicals and stay in France.

    In 7 years of prosecuting FTJ, we still have not fixed the problem. This is the Legacy of African leadership!

  2. Well put FMD, no point in mopping water if you haven't fixed the leak. To be fair, the DPP has claimed all responsibility for which cases do or do not go to court, but nevertheless I agree that the choice of case seems weak in retrospect. I guess the question then becomes are existing leaders (from all parties) willing to "fix" things so that they cannot themselves steal from public coffers (or be rewarded with "gifts" for allowing others to do so)?

    If there is sufficient political will then perhaps something effective could be done, but this is a tricky problem everywhere. For example, in the US former Senators now commonly take multi-million dollar salaries from companies that were previously lobbying them on legislation, and the number of former Bush administration appointees who are now working for the same companies they were supposed to be regulating the last eight years is truly frightening. These aren't classified as bribes or kickbacks or even gifts, they are jobs and salaries. The current remedy is to attempt to impose "waiting periods" of a few years, but the rewards are worth waiting for, and there are indications that even in cases of death the employment consideration is often extended to close family members, so it isn't really working as a deterrent.

    The Auditor General's Office seems to have been doing a credible job of ferreting out abuses and irregularities in the handling of public accounts, perhaps we should be asking them to design mechanisms to close the loopholes they find being exploited as the basis for new legislation?


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