Saturday, February 02, 2013

Zukas wants London judgment registered

Zukas wants London judgment registered
By Kombe Chimpinde
Sat 02 Feb. 2013, 12:30 CAT

SIMON Zukas says Zambians should not ignore the registration of the London High Court judgment against late Fredrick Chiluba which the Rupiah Banda regime blocked.

Zukas 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. Chiluba as president was accused of stealing $500,000 from state coffers, but the Banda regime saved him from going to jail.

However, a civil suit in the London High Court found Chiluba and others liable for defrauding Zambia. 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.

In an interview, Zukas said that the continued silence on the "obvious" matter was worrying.
"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," he said.

"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."
Zukas said the Banda regime, which blocked registration of the judgment, had been voted out, paving way for clearance of impediments placed in the legal process.

"…remember there was an appeal by the prosecutor (Mutembo Nchito) which was blocked by the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution). Now we are one year into the new government which has declared a strong stance against corruption," he said. "We have a new DPP and yet this has not come back to the courts. I feel very strongly that we don't know which way the courts will treat the matter but it's got to go back to the courts. That appeal was blocked, then, there is no reason for it being blocked now."
Zuka's said that Chiluba's plunder must be used as a serious deterrent against greedy and selfish individuals.

"We can't allow the whole Chiluba plunder to be forgotten. If it gets forgotten then it will be repeated by others because they will feel they can get away with it. The appeal should be reinstated," he said.
"From a general political point of view, that issue cannot just be pushed away. To be active against corruption, you have got to clear the decks and I don't think the deck on the Chiluba-plunder has been cleared. It remains unresolved and as far as I can see, the way things stand, the (plundered) assets shall remain in the hands of the plundering syndicate and yet those assets should be brought back to the people of Zambia," he warned.

"Verbally it is very strong, we are hearing constant reminders, I am hoping that soon or later we will produce results."
Chiluba suffered from chronic heart problem and died on June 18, 2011 in Lusaka aged 68./SM/BS

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