Who are they shielding in gold scandal, asks Kateka
By Ernest Chanda
NEW Heritage Party president Chishala Kateka has questioned the state’s motive of seeking to have the gold case heard in camera when it is a matter of national interest.
Recently, chief State advocate Nkumbiza Mumba applied that the proceedings in which business man Shareck Kasanda is one of the suspects be held in camera, claiming that there is sensitive information associated with the case that cannot warrant an open court hearing.
But Kateka wondered why what the State was hiding from the public.
‘’The question is why? What do they not want revealed to the public? Who are they shielding,’’ she said in a statement? ‘’Dear ‘the State’ – expect these and many more of such questions from Zambians as this is a very high profile case and is of great national interest. Zambians want to know that their wealth is safe and also want to know who is involved amongst the bigwigs in ‘the State’. This request by ‘the State’ will raise a lot of questions and this will not bode well for them. There is a lot of distrust in the country (what with all the various lies that the nation has been told) from the State right now. So this move by ‘the State’ is just going to further fuel the already existing mistrust.’’
She said when the case started the government treated it as a matter of public interest.
Kateka recalled how some names from State House came up as the case was being concretised.
‘’When the Goldgate scam broke and Kasanda with the Egyptians were caught and put in cells. It became a case of national interest. As more people relating to the same were rounded up and it transpired that some names from State House were mentioned, people’s curiosity was stirred up.
When it was revealed that the impounded plane/s were parked at the Presidential pavilion, this set tongues really wagging,’’ said Kateka. ‘’Fast forward, the case is going to court and the unthinkable is happening. It has transpired that the State has urged the Lusaka High Court to conduct an in-camera trial in this regard. Chief State Advocate NKUMBIZA MUMBA has applied that the proceedings must be held in camera, claiming that there is sensitive information associated with the case that cannot warrant an open court hearing.
Ms. MUMBA has told the court that such information would not only be prejudicial to the interest of the state but also sensitive to some members of public.’’