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 2010-08-17 08:50 pm Back to NEWS
FJT UK case dismissal within law — Nkonde

Former solicitor-general Sunday Nkonde has said the decision by Lusaka High Court Judge Evans Hamaundu to dismiss the registration of the London judgement was in line with the law. Mr Nkonde said differences of opinion expressed by lawyers in the verdict passed by the Lusaka High Court are normal.

And chiefs in Luapula Province have said the verdict by the Lusaka High Court in favour of second Republican president Frederick Chiluba is a statement that Zambia is a sovereign State and urged stakeholders to respect the office of former presidents.

Mr Nkonde said in Lusaka yesterday that legal matters were vested in the High Courts as has happened in the case involving Dr Chiluba who was found guilty alongside seven co-accused persons but the court dismissed the intended registration of the London judgment on Friday.

He said it was not unusual that lawyers hold different opinions and seek guidance from the courts.

"Of course, it is not unusual for us lawyers to have different opinions and that is why we go to courts to litigate so that we are guided by the courts. And that is exactly what has happened in this case and there is nothing strange about it," Mr Nkonde said.

Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Stephen Lungu revealed yesterday that his association intended to seek audience with the Attorney General to discuss the outcome of the case.

The Lusaka High Court on Friday threw out an application that sought to register the London High Court judgment in Zambia in which Dr Chiluba and seven of his co-accused persons were found guilty of corrupt practices and theft of US$46 million by British Judge Peter Smith.

Chairperson of the Luapula Province Royal Foundation (LPRF) senior chief Chisunka said in an interview from Kawambwa yesterday that traditional leaders and residents of Luapula were displeased with the treatment accorded to Dr Chiluba who played a greater role in re-introducing democracy in 1991.

"There is no way the British people can prosecute Dr Chiluba. He is a Zambian and a property of the Zambian government and not the British. If the British do not have a former President to prosecute, I am sorry we are not ready to surrender ours," Chief Chisunka said.

Chief Chisunka said traditional leaders from the province would no longer allow Dr Chiluba's name to be brought into further ridicule following the court verdict.

He said the former President brought democracy and development to Zambia, which people must appreciate instead of working to fulfil the interests of the donor agencies.

"Instead, they are busy calling him 'Lazo' ... [i.e. a thief] ... They do that to satisfy the foreign donors but if you ask these donors whether they can call their ex-president Lazo, they will tell you it cannot happen," Chief Chisunka said.

Mr Justice Hamaundu threw out the earlier order passed by late High Court Judge Japhet Banda on grounds that there was no reciprocal arrangement between Zambia and the United Kingdom.

Dr Chiluba had contested Judge Banda's order arguing that he could not be tried by a British judge being a citizen of another sovereign state and declined to recognise the process and its outcomes even when the sittings took place in Lusaka via a video linking facility.

Chief Chisunka urged Dr Chiluba to remain calm because genuine Zambians know that he never stole public resources in Zambia and served the country diligently to start the economic development upon which the present growth is anchored.

Dr Chiluba through his spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba said the former President is expected to speak when he arrives back home from South Africa where he is undergoing medical review.

Lusaka lawyer Sakwiba Sikota said there existed a lacuna where there was the absence of a reciprocal arrangement with other countries.

Mr Sikota, who is also president of the United Liberal Party, said he did not have a position on whether the judgment was correct or not because he had not read it but urged the Government to commence reciprocal arrangements, which would rest conflict in businesses.

Mr Sikota said local business executives could use Zambian courts to sue those based in other countries because such judgments could be registered in such countries when there is a reciprocal arrangement.

Transparency International Zambia president Reuben Lifuka said his organisation was preparing a statement to be issued this morning after studying the judgment.

On Friday, the Lusaka High Court threw out an application that sought to register the London High Court judgment in Zambia in which Dr Chiluba and seven other co-accused were found guilty of corrupt practices and theft of US$46 million.

Dr Chiluba was accused of theft and corruption alongside former Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Stella Chibanda, former Zambian Ambassador to the United States Attan Shansonga, former Access financial services directors Aaron Chungu and Faustin Kabwe.

Others were Francis Kaunda, former intelligence chief Xavier Chungu and Ireen Kabwe.


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