Conditions to register judgment were satisfied - TIZ
|FILE: Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) executive director
Goodwell Lungu (l) — The
International Zambia (TIZ) has contended that the conditions to register the
High Court judgment that found second republican president Fredrick Chiluba
and seven others liable to theft of about $46 million funds in the Zambian
courts were fully satisfied.
Commenting on High Court judge Evans
Hamaundu's decision to throw out an
application by the state to register the London High court, TIZ executive
director Goodwell Lungu said in a statement made available to the Post Online
that his organization had taken time to study and reflect on the
Lungu observed that the findings against Chiluba and the others
in the London High court were still valid since judge Hamaundu did not speak
about the validity of the London High court judgment.
"As far as we are
concerned the findings against Chiluba and others still remain valid,"
"Our position on the registration of the London High Court
judgment obtained against Dr. Chiluba and others was clearly articulated in our
(TIZ) amicus brief prepared for us largely by Professor Muna Ndulo, an eminent
scholar who has reviewed global jurisprudence on the issues at play, including
decisions on similar provisions of the law from African Common law countries
where the same arguments were raised," Lungu stated
"We still contend
that the conditions for registration of the judgment under the Common Law and
the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act Chapter 76 of the Laws of
Zambia have been fully satisfied," he added.
He stated that TIZ was of
the view that such an important pronouncement of the law as to reciprocity of
the London High court judgment must go all the way to the Supreme
He stated that it will be a pity if government will abandon the
matter for reasons other than legal ones.
Lungu stated that the Attorney
General should be encouraged to pursue judge Hammuundu's decision to its logical
conclusion because government had used the London High Court judgment to extract
payments from defendants Atan Shansonga, Bimal Thaker, B.B Thanker, Cave Malik
and their insurers in the United Kingdom
"As Transparency International
Zambia, it is our unwavering position that this is a matter of immense public
interest and it cannot be abandoned at this hurdle. It is unimaginable that the
Attorney General can abandon the cause at this stage given the rather large
judgment sum which should be recovered from the judgment debtors," Lungu
He stated that properties in Belgium were recovered with a gross
value of US $8 million in a claim against four (4) European defendants based on
the same allegations of conspiracy to defraud as was maintained against Dr
Chiluba and other Zambian defendants. The Zambian Government has registered the
same Judgment against Raphael Soriano in the Belgian Courts and resisted an
application by Soriano challenging that registration.
He explained that
TIZ's understanding of the judgment was that judge Hamaundu did not state that
the judgment could not be registered in Zambia except that he had set aside the
order to grant the Attorney General of Zambia, on behalf of the Zambian people,
leave to directly register the London High Court judgment under the Foreign
Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act.
"Judge Hamaundu states that a
judgment creditor (Attorney General) wishing to enforce a foreign judgment at
common law will have to commence an action founded on that judgment as a cause
of action.(J19) He actually presents the Attorney General another avenue through
which he should consider in seeking the enforcement of the foreign judgment
against Dr. Chiluba and others," he stated
Lungu said TIZ find it
instructive that judge Hamaundu in this current judgment does not favour direct
registration as a way of enforcing foreign judgments.
"What we find more
intriguing is that he fails to refer to his own judgment in Reefcor Limited v.
Les Generals Des Carriers Et Des Mines Exploitation Gecamines (High Court for
Zambia, Kitwe District, (11 June 2007) (2002/11K/52G) where he allowed for
direct registration of a judgment rendered by the High Court of South Africa
despite the respondent arguing that South Africa is not one of the Britannic
Majesty's dominions, neither is it a British protectorate nor a mandated
territory and that it does not have a reciprocal agreement with Zambia and did
not fall under the Foreign Judgment (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act Chapter 76 of
the Laws of Zambia," stated Lungu.