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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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.
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
Lusaka lawyer Sakwiba Sikota said there existed a lacuna where
there was the absence of a reciprocal arrangement with other
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.
International Zambia president Reuben Lifuka said his organisation was
preparing a statement to be issued this morning after studying the
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
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.