11 January 2013

Zambia: Wait for Your Day in Court, Nevers Told

GOVERNEMNT has advised opposition MMD president Nevers Mumba to wait for his defence in court and not accuse Government of political persecution.

Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kennedy Sakeni, who is Chief Government spokesperson, advised Dr Mumba not to comment on matters that were already in court.

He said that it was reckless of Dr Mumba to attack Government on his arrest for the alleged abuse of authority of office he was charged with.

Mr Sakeni said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that Dr Mumba was exclusively familiar with what transpired to the Zambian taxpayers' money when he served as High Commissioner in Canada and as such he should not shift the blame on Government.

He said that Government found his utterances against his arrest as irrational and irresponsible.

Mr Sakeni said: "Let him not sensationalise matters or attempt to cleanse himself with mud because there is nothing political about the four charges of abuse of office he is facing. This matter is in court and he should just wait for his turn to give his side of the story, which the Zambian people, who are the owners of the funds involved, are eager to hear."

Mr Sakeni further said it was was a misjudgment on the part of Dr Mumba if he ascended to the MMD presidency with a view of shielding himself from potential prosecution.

Dr Mumba accused government of politically persecuting him after he was arrested by a government joint investigations team on Tuesday and after he appeared before court for plea yesterday.

He is facing three counts of abuse of authority of office and failure to comply with laid down procedures of management of public funds, the charges he has denied.

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