Posts Tagged ‘London judgment’

WILL FTJ CHILUBA’S ABSOLUTION BY THE HIGH COURT ENDEAR PRESIDENT BANDA TO THE CITIZENRY?

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

By ZAMBIA NEWS FEATURES CORRESPONDENT

THE Zambian High Court has ruled that the London Judgment involving former president Fredrick Chiluba can not be registered and therefore enforced in Zambia. The question now, however, is how will the Zambian citizenry take the matter after waiting for over eight years to have the former president either jailed or hold him liable for abuse of office perpetrated during his time as head of state.

The London High Court judgment delivered by Judge Peter Smith in 2007 froze Chiluba’s pension and two properties in Ndola and also found him and others liable of defrauding the Zambian government of about US$46 million. (Read related story here)

Zambia’s Attorney General commenced civil proceedings in the London High Court against Chiluba and others to recover monies that were allegedly stolen using bank accounts hosted in London.

But Chiluba challenged the registration of the London High Court judgment in Zambia saying it was colonialist in nature.
Lusaka High Court Judge Evans Hamaundu Friday August 14, 2010, delivered a 90-paged judgment in which he said that the London judgment can not be registered in Zambia.

The direction of Chiluba’s case was obvious as early as last June when the Supreme Court of Zambia set aside an English order which a British citizen wanted to be registered and enforced in Zambia.

Supreme Court Justices Sandson Silomba, Marvin Mwanamwambwa and Hilda Chibomba last June threw out the matter between Zanetta Nyendwa ,a Zambian woman and Kenneth Paul Spooner a British national and resident. (Read related story here)

On 12th January 2009 the High Court registered an ex-parte Order from the Family Division of the High Court of Justice in England.

The facts are that Zanetta Nyendwa and Kenneth Paul Spooner co-habited together until they separated through a Separation Agreement dated 14th March 2010. The two have minor children, Devian Nicholas Spooner and Caelen Alexander Spooner (3 and 5yrs as at 2008) who are British nationals.

On 20th November 2008, Spooner obtained an ex-parte order which compelled Zanetta Nyendwa (the mother) to return the children to UK following her failure to do so after a two-week holiday.

Armed with this English Order, Spooner came to Zambia and applied in the High Court of Zambia under the Foreign Judgments- (Reciprocal and Enforcement) Act of 1933 to register and enforce this Order. The High Court registered the English Order.

Zanetta Nyendwa through her lawyers Musa Dudhia &Company applied to have the Judgment set aside. The High Court refused to set aside the English Order directing Nyendwa to pursue this matter in Britain. Spooner was represented by Musa Adams & Company.

Zambia’s third President Levy Mwanawasa, a few months after taking over from Chiluba as head of state, lifted the latter’s immunity through parliament on allegations of corruption, theft of public funds and abuse of office which led to his arrest and charged of a number of offences in which the nation lost millions of dollars in the case that came to be known as the plunder of national resources.

Mwanawasa set up the Task Force on Corruption comprising officers from the Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, Zambia Police and the Zambia State Intelligence and Security Services (ZSIS) also known as the Office of the President to investigate these cases. President dissolved the Task Force when it attempted to appeal Chiluba’s acquittal by the High Court.

A number of people who worked closely with Chiluba including former Minister of Finance Katele Kalumba have convicted of the plunder cases while Chiluba himself was acquitted late last year in controversial circumstances.

Chiluba’s fortunes changed after the death of Mwanawasa who died in August 2008 and Rupiah Banda took over as president and the two have been very close from the time Banda took over. Chiluba has also been publicly campaigning for Banda at every opportunity.

Whether Chiluba’s absolution of both the criminal and civil cases of plunder will endear President Banda to the citizenry remains to be seen.

(Addition information and edited by Gershom Ndhlovu. Contact us at editor@zambianewsfeatures.com)

FTJ CHILUBA’S FULL STATEMENT: LAWLESSNESS DISPLAYED BY TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL TO THE HIGH COURT

Monday, August 9th, 2010

We are shocked at the blatant disregard of the law and the disrespect shown to the High Court by Transparency International (TIZ), MNB Legal Practitioners and The Post.

The attempt by Transparency International to file submissions regarding the registration of the London Judgment when the process has ended and the parties are merely awaiting Judgment scheduled for August 18th 2010,amounts to lawlessness.

The action is desperate and is deliberately intended to create undue pressure on the Court.

Further, the filed submissions were rejected by the High Court but Transparency International, their lawyers MNB Legal Practitioners and The Post, proceeded to publish these rejected submissions without warning the public that the said action was dismissed.

FJT Chiluba

Zambia's Second President, Frederick Chiluba

The extensive publication of rejected submissions is a ploy intended to excite the public emotions against Dr, Chiluba. The methods used by Transparency International are desperate and their attempt to canvass in this manner is contemptuous to the court proceedings.

These actions are in contempt of the proceedings before Court and only serve lawlessness.

We also condemn MNB Legal Practitioner for their action. They have taken a matter of vested interest without declaring interest and wish to participate in this matter through the back door. It is public knowledge that Mr. Nchito was a witness to the proceedings that led to the London Judgment.

So was Mr. Editor-in- Chief of The Post, Fred Mmembe, who was a witness too.

BACKGROUND

On 26 July 2010 The Post newspaper published an article claiming that Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) had filed an amicus curiae brief into the High Court on July 21, 2010,in the matter regarding the setting aside of registration of a London High Court judgment against Dr. Frederick Chiluba and others. (Read the stories here and here).

Following the Judgment of Justice Peter Smith of the London High Court on May 4th 2007, the state applied to the High Court to register this judgment in Zambia.

The registration was immediately challenged under the provisions of the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, Cap 76 of the Laws of Zambia.

TIZ’s MISCONDUCT

Under the established professional practice in Zambia it is a requirement to serve such amicus curiae submissions to all the parties to the dispute so as to enable concerned parties, in the interests of justice, to respond.

In this case TIZ have neglected to make available to Dr. Chiluba and others or their legal counsel their purported submissions as required by the law.

Further the High Court has already set 15th August, 2010 as the date of Judgment. This followed the completion of submissions from the State and the petitioners as required by law.

We are surprised by this action by TIZ. This matter has been in the public domain since 2007. The court hearing this matter closed the case in May 2010.

There is no provision under the Laws of Zambia or under judicial practice, for the Court to entertain such ex parte applications or submissions when the court is due to deliver Judgment.

Therefore the reported claims by The Post and TIZ that their submissions were filed are false. The attempt to file these submissions into court on 21st July 2010 was dismissed.

The Court promptly rejected the submissions as the action was outside the law, outside the given time and did not meet the required procedure.

The attempt to file these submissions was made by MNB Legal Practitioners. In our view, MNB Legal Practitioners should have declared interest. The Firm’s principal partners are Mr. Mutembo Nchito and his brother Nchima Nchito who were public prosecutors at the defunct Taskforce on Corruption.

Mr. Mutembo Nchito was also a witness to the London Court proceedings. So was Mr. Fred Mmembe.

It is clear that after failing to file these illegal submissions before the High Court in the accepted manner, the perpetrators of this contemptuous and cowardly scheme resorted to deception. The contents of the so called submissions were published extensively in The Post on 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th August 2010.

It is contemptuous under Zambia law to comment on issues before court (and hence sub-judice) outside of the laid down procedures. This is designed to prevent prejudice and undue influence on the court.

Therefore this action is a blatant disregard of the law. We therefore condemn those behind these cowardly maneuvers.

The perpetrators aim to influence and deceive the public by widely circulating legal opinions that have not been canvassed or tested before an impartial and independent tribunal. This is lawlessness.

Therefore the public is advised to reject these desperate maneuvers and disregard the published articles on this matter.

We are surprised by the action by Transparency International. It purports to fight corruption but uses illegal and under hand methods to do so. These tactics are now worn out. The Taskforce on Corruption was synonymous with these methods. They constantly attempted to win cases in the press and not the courts of law. It stood discredited in the eyes of Zambians. So will Transparency International. By embracing dubious and deceptive methods in fighting corruption, Transparency International and its friends stand discredited.

10TH August 2010 (For Immediate release)

Signed:

Emmanuel Mwamba

For and On Behalf of

DR. Frederick J.T. Chiluba

SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

(This statement is unedited for publication on this site. Contact us on editor@zambianewsfeatures.com).