M’membe hid trucks from liquidator-Police

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 14:43:00 +0000


FRED M’membe the former owner of Post Newspaper now in liquidation hid 11 trucks and a trailer at a private garage in Shimabala in an attempt to avoid surrendering the assets to Lewis Mosho, the liquidator, a witness has told the Lusaka High Court.

Police Chief Inspector Japhen Mulenga in his testimony before High Court Justice Sunday Nkonde explained that he led a search and recovery mission to the Shimabala garage that was believed to have been housing property known to belong to the newspaper company.

Mr Mulenga who took the stand on cross examination explained that the trucks were found at a hideout garage belonging to a private business, and that the trucks were only parked there in July 2016, the same period the ZRA seized some of its property.

Mr Mulenga testified that Freight Transport Company records indicated that the trucks were only parked there on July 29, 2016 against verbal claims that the Post had been using the private garage since January 2015.

This was in day two of the Post in Liquidation hearing on an application for  contempt against Fred M’membe, Nchito and Nchito Advocates and former general manager Rowena Zulu for allegedly refusing to hand over a list of company assets to the Provisional Liquidator Lewis Mosho appointed by the High Court.

Earlier, when asked who sent him to Shimabala, Mr Mulenga explained that there was a letter from the Post Newspaper in Liquidation which requested police escort for the recovery of hidden property starched at a secret location in Shimabala believed to belong to the Post.

He said even the owners of the garage admitted that the Post only parked the trucks at the premises on July 29, 2016, which was an indication that they were hiding the vehicles from ZRA.

Mr Mulenga was the only witness in the matter in which the alleged contemnors did not present any witnesses on the matter.

Mr Justice Nkonde heard that the alleged contemnors could not hand over a list of assets to the Liquidator because there was a receiver already appointed to look after assets of the Post.

This was after defence counsel Nchima Nchito alleged that there was already a receiver tasked with the assets of the Post Newspaper in Liquidation, and that Mr Mmembe was no longer in possession of the assets.

This was despite the Court’s appointment of Mr Mosho as the Provisional Liquidator of the Post Newspaper in Liquidation, as the only mandated liquidator recognised in winding up operations of the company.

Mr Mosho had earlier requested a list of assets belonging to the Post, and had also published a notice to all debtors of the company to indicate their interest from the defunct newspaper company.

But Mr M’membe has deliberately refused to acknowledge Mr Mosho as the Provisional Liquidator mandated to wind up the company operations, and has refused to hand-over the catalogue of assets as requested for the discharge of his duty.

The Court has not set any dates for the next sitting but allowed both parties to make written submissions on the matter from January 12, 2017.


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