Monday, February 04, 2013

We're still studying London judgment - Kabimba

We're still studying London judgment - Kabimba
By Ernest Chanda
Sun 03 Feb. 2013, 14:10 CAT

JUSTICE minister Wynter Kabimba says the 2007 London High Court judgment against late president Frederick Chiluba is not a dead issue. Reacting to veteran politician Simon Zukas' call on the government to revisit the matter and have it registered locally, Kabimba said the government was still studying the matter.

"We made a statement some time back that we are still studying it; even now we are studying the matter. But it is certainly not a dead issue," said Kabimba yesterday.

And Attorney General Mumba Malila said his office was ready to revisit the matter if instructed by the government to do so.

"As Attorney General I work under instructions and my client is the government. So, if the government has not instructed me to take any further action on it I will obviously keep quiet; I'll wait for instructions from the government. I will act according to the instructions of the government," said Malila.

"Before Mr Sebastian Zulu left office, he had issued a statement in which he had mentioned that, 'look, we asked the Attorney general to hold on until we have the policy direction given by cabinet'. He had also mentioned that in fact he had done a cabinet memorandum cab memo and that Cabinet had to decide before the Attorney General is instructed to take any further action. So, as of now I have no instructions on the matter to take it further."

Recently, Zukas said Zambians should not ignore the registration of the London High Court judgment against Chiluba which the Rupiah Banda regime blocked.

He said although the main culprit in the matter was deceased, Zambians should not allow the assets that were acquired in the process to continually be enjoyed by the culprits' associates.

In May 2007, the London High Court found Chiluba liable to defrauding Zambians of over US$49 million mostly spent on personal items such as designer clothes.

The evidence in that case included more than 100 pairs of size six shoes, many of them monogrammed, and scores of designer suits bought from Boutique Basile in Geneva, where Chiluba spent more than £300,000, sometimes paid in suitcases full of banknotes British judge Smith ordered Chiluba to repay £23 million to the Zambian government.

But the Banda regime frustrated the registration of the judgment in Zambia.

"I am unhappy about another aspect which is my concern; we seem to have forgotten about the plunder of state assets that took place under Chiluba and to some extent, Rupiah Banda's regime," said Zukas.

"We had a London judgment which accused Chiluba of misusing $46 million of state funds and that was in the High Court in London and the case was fully argued and there is no question that the conclusion was correct, but it needed to be registered in Zambia."

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