Chiluba’s family petition Supreme Court over judgement

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:52:17 +0000

 

By CHIKUMBI KATEBE

COTROVERSY and mystery surrounds the forfeiture of second republican president Fredrick Chiluba’s property to the State in a Supreme Court Judgment signed by more judges than those that were on the bench to hear the case.

This followed the announcement by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that the Tedworth case before the Supreme Court had been concluded and the judgment delivered which forfeited all properties under the company to the Zambian Government.

And now, the family of Dr. Chiluba has petitioned the Supreme Court following the confusion that has surrounded the names and signatures of the judges who adjudicated over the case and the signees of the judgment as well as uncertainty on the number of judgments delivered over the matter.

This is according to an affidavit filed before the Lusaka High Court, where Patrice Chiluba and Darlington Chiluba being representatives of the estate of the former president, together with Tedworth Incorporated have contested the judgment citing unfair hearing because one of the judges that delivered the judgment did not hear the case.

The petitioners have applied for an order to restrain ACC and the Attorney General from disposing of or in any way alienating or dealing with properties said to belong to Tedworth until after the determination of the petition.

“An order restraining the respondents from disposing of or in any way alienating or dealing with stand F/488a/26/C, stand F/488a/D and stand 4829, Lusaka or the rental income from the said properties until the hearing and determination of this petition.

“A declaration that the 1st petitioner was not given a free and fair hearing as one of the Supreme Court Judges comprising the Coram that determined the appeal did not hear the 1st petitioner,” they submitted in their petition.

They argued that the late president Chiluba was never convicted of any offence under the law nor was he prosecuted in any court in connection with the said properties, and that the forfeiture did not arise from a court order.

In an affidavit of facts, Faustine Kabwe, director of the Tedworth Incorporated in Zambia argued that the said matter was heard by a panel of three judges as indicated in the cause list by the Master of the Supreme Court; Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima, Mr Justice Evans Hamaundu and Ms Justice Roydah Kaoma who heard the matter.

“They produced before me marked “FMK4”  copy of the Supreme Court Judgment which shows that the Coram that passed judgment comprised Hon Justice I C Mambilima, the Hon Lady Justice R M Kaoma and The Hon Mr Justice Jones Chinyama,” he submitted.

But the petitioners have contended that Mr Justice Chinyama was never a member of the panel that heard the appeal for him to participate in rendering the judgment.

They have alleged that the Supreme Court has violated the principle of natural justice by allowing member of the tribunal to participate in making a decision when he did not hear the parties’ submissions.

They have also argued that the court that delivered the judgment was not a court established by law under article 126, that the petitioner’s rights “as guaranteed under Article 18(9) of the Constitution was violated in relation to them in that one of the judges who decided the matter did not afford the 1st petitioner a hearing”.

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