RUPIAH has granted Chiluba full immunity to insult the judiciary, Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata has said.

Reacting to former president Frederick Chiluba's remarks that the late president Levy Mwanawasa had turned the courts into a playing field like Nkana Stadium, Sata said Chiluba's conduct clearly demonstrates a break down in the rule of law and constitutionalism in the country.

"It's unfortunate for my brother Frederick to be having a go on the Judiciary when he has several cases against him and his family. But we understand what is happening because it's now clear that Rupiah has given my brother full immunity to insult the Judiciary," Sata said. "Can you imagine what would happen if someone facing court cases like my brother made those remarks? They would expressly be cited and prosecuted for contempt. But since it's Chiluba, Rupiah has promised him presidential cover, hence these insults on the Judiciary."

He said Chiluba's attacks on Mwanawasa were not making sense.
"My brother is speaking for self-interest when he says Levy was turning the courts into a playing field. But the question is, is it Levy who convicted the young man Katele Kalumba?" Sata asked. "Let him spare Levy from such unfair and unjustifiable attacks. He should not be simplistic in his arguments. My brother should point out what wrongs or crimes Levy committed by championing the fight against corruption."
He said President Banda's administration thrives on illegalities.

"The Constitution is totally irrelevant as far as Rupiah is concerned. Rupiah is ignoring the country's constitution," Sata said. "For example, on Chiluba, the Constitution is very clear. Chiluba has abandoned being a retired president and has turned himself into Rupiah's campaign manager and he is not even hiding.

"But since it suits Rupiah and the MMD, the President is not even worried about the constitutional breaches and implications that Chiluba's conduct will attract."
He said Chiluba is panicking.

"They are desperate and they are doing anything they can to convince themselves that they are working but they are not going anywhere," he said.
He said Chiluba overrates his influence.

"Chiluba displaced the same people he is getting to today through his corrupt privatisation exercise. Kenneth Kaunda left those people with jobs. So is it normal for the person who is the architect of those problems to go back today masquerading as the messiah?" Sata asked. "People know who my brother is and what he stands for. He is just cheating them and they know that. He is using them as a springboard or trampoline to get to his comfort zone.

"He knows that he only has nine months and all this excitement will finish. The same people he is meeting should actually ask him about that looted property on the Copperbelt, which has been returned to his family. Let them demand that he explains how his family acquired it."

And Sata thanked home affairs minister Mkondo Lungu for instructing Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde to scrap off payments for people that want to register as voters.

"You are aware that they were demanding for a police report from those who had lost their cards. But I wrote Mr Lungu over the charges that were being demanded by police to issue a police report," Sata said. "I am glad that he has responded positively. This is how it should be because if it was Lameck Mangani or Kabonde, they would have acted like typical MMD cadres and ignored the people's concerns."

In a letter dated June 24, 2010, Sata appealed to Lungu to look into the matter, which if not rectified would disenfranchise many would-be voters.

"It has been brought to my attention by the general public that the police service in various parts of the country are charging fees for police reports to those persons who have lost their National Registration Cards (NRCs). The fees range from K20, 000 to K50, 000 in some cases," Sata stated. "I do not remember any law or statutory instrument which prescribes such fees.

However, if indeed there is one it is bad law, especially during the time when our people are engaged in the exercise of obtaining NRCs and the voter registration programme. Such fees, for whatever reason, are certainly prohibitive to the ordinary person under the present economic circumstances."