If DPP doesn’t appeal Chitotela’s acquittal, we’ll know ruling was state-sponsored – Changala

Civil Rights Activist Brebner Changala says if the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) does not appeal in the Chitotela case, then the public will assume that the minister’s acquittal was sponsored by the state.

In an interview, Changala also appealed to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take interest in some lawyers who had become conduits of crime by abusing their clients’ accounts in plundering suspected proceeds of crime.

“You see [David] Simusamba’s acquittal of Honourable Chitotela, he was actually putting a premium for corruption. The case of Honourable Chitotela is of serious sad reading in that an ordinary citizen or a layman would have thought that there was enough evidence that was laid down by the prosecution team. This is a serious matter of concern to this journey of fighting corruption which is a white-collar crime, and as you know a white-collar crime is highly complicated. But my encouragement is to DEC and the Anti-Corruption Commission is not to give up. The second appeal is directed to the DPP that on behalf of the people of Zambia, I appeal urgently to appeal in this matter. If the DPP does not appeal, we shall then know that this is a state-sponsored acquittal. It will be seen as collusion between the state and the accused,” Changala said.

“Mind you, we have heard this rot before when President Mwanawasa did decide not to prosecute Kashiba Bulaya who was a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health. Even with massive and convincing evidence, the then DPP who is now a judge did decide not to prosecute honorable Kashiba Bulaya. After the public outcry, they decided to take Dr Kashiba Bulaya to court and subsequently as the public outcry continued, the case prevailed. Dr Kashiba Bulaya was found with a case and was convicted and he did serve the jail term. This is a similar case. So my appeal is to the DPP not to let down the people of Zambia, to stand with the people of Zambia and deal with this matter.”

Meanwhile, Changala said DEC and ACC should also take interest in some lawyers who have become conduits of crime by abusing their clients’ accounts in plundering suspected proceeds of crime.

“And the Anti-Corruption Commission should reorganize themselves and find a way to handle these white collar crimes. So I am appealing to the Anti-Corruption Commission and the DEC to handle these white collar crimes because it is now getting complicated in that it involves law firms who are now becoming as a conduit of criminal activities. Monies are going out playing around law firms and one wonders why these law firms are not coming to court to give testimonies on how they are abusing the clients’ account to hide criminal activities and proceeds of crime. Lawyers have become curriers of proceeds of crime and yet they are not paraded in the courts of law. They are a lot. We need to understand what veil protects them from being prosecuted,” said Changala. DEC and ACC should also take interest in some lawyers who have become conduits of crime by abusing their clients’ accounts in plundering suspected proceeds of crime,” said Changala.

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