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MILINGO NOLLE DEAL EXPLODES

…State House, Attorney General, DPP named

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema and his senior aides were aware of the circumstances that led to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Lillian Siyuni entering a nolle prosequi procured in national interest with former Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Liquidator Milingo Lungu, court papers have revealed.

Mr Lungu has now petitioned the Constitutional court to quash the indictment preferred against him by the Drug Enforcement Commission because it was unconstitutional.

In his affidavit to the Concourt Mr Milingo said State House was aware as negotiations were led by Principal Private Secretary to President Hakainde Hichilema, Bradford Machila, who asked him to  resign as  Konkola Copper Mine (KCM)  Provisional Liquidator in exchange for immunity which included a nolle prosequi entered in two matters  where he is accused of money laundering, court documents have revealed.

Others who were involved in the bargain process with Mr Lungu to resign are Special Assistant to the President for Legal Affairs Christopher Mundia, Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, Solicitor General Marshal Muchende, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyuni and Ms Natasha Kalimukwa – Administrator General and Official Receiver of KCM.

According to a petition by Mr Lungu before the Constitutional Court,   State House was involved in the decision by the DPP to enter a nolle prosequi in the matter before Lusaka Magistrate Felix Kaoma for alleged theft and money laundering of K4.4 million and another involving K17, 250, 000 presided over by magistrate Jennifer Bwalya.

In the Petition, Mr Lungu also claims his initial meeting was with President Hakainde Hichilema, Vice President Mutale Nalumango, Finance minister Situmbeko Sitwala among others. Along the way, Mr Lungu had meetings with government officials to iron out the deal and these included  the Attorney General, Solicitor General among others.

“Your petitioner entered into a bargain with the State to resign as Provisional Liquidator for KCM, submit to and participate in an audit to reconcile the petitioners’ remuneration fees and any monies drawn with full and frank disclosure in exchange for the payment of fees due and outstanding, dropping of criminal charges and an indemnity in the performance of the petitioner’s duties as Provisional Liquidator,” he stated.

He stated that the bargain was made in public and State interest to secure the Mine from ruin as no payments could be made by the banks because Ms Kalimukwa had no legal mandate to take over the mine.

“Your petitioner shall aver that the resignation and discontinuance of the Judicial Review action to challenge the suspension was induced by the various representations and undertakings made by State agents referred  to above in the negotiation of the bargain,” he said.

Mr Lungu  cited the Attorney General, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) senior investigations officer – Anti Money Laundering Unit Boyd Munalula , DEC and the Administrator General as respondents in the petition.

The petitioner is seeking a declaration that his arrest and commencement of criminal proceedings against him following his re-arrest is an abuse of criminal proceedings and ultra vires articles 180(7) and 2016 (C) of the Republican constitution.

He seeks an order of prohibition directed at the respondents stopping them from investigating, arresting and prosecuting the petitioner in respect of his performance as Provisional Liquidator of KCM.

Mr Lungu is also seeking an order of certiorari directed at the Attorney General to remove into court and quash the State’s decision to prosecute him on the charge of being found in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

He wants an order of mandamus directed at DEC to release all his documents, books, accounts and properties seized in the course of investigations.

He wants the criminal proceedings before the Lusaka Magistrates Court stayed pending determination of the petition.

Mr Lungu contends that it was unreasonable and an abuse of criminal proceedings to seize property, arrest, charge and prosecute him for acts that KCM had not complained of.

According to an immunity agreement accessed by the Daily Nation dated March 22, 2022, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) signed indicating that the DPP granted Mr Lungu immunity from present or future prosecution based on the facts.

The DPP indicated that the agreement signed was not an admission of criminal culpability on the part of Mr Lungu.

However it has been discovered that State House brokered the deal as President Hakainde Hichilema’s Principle Private Secretary, Bradford Machila and State House Special Assistant for Legal Affairs, Christopher Mundia   led negotiations with former KCM Liquidator.

The deal was that Mr Lungu vacates his office in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution and the return of his seized assets as they were legitimately earned.

Mr Lungu who has taken   legal suit against the State and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) requesting the Lusaka High Court to compel the DEC to uphold the immunity from prosecution granted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on matters related to his role as Provisional Liquidator of KCM.

In the subsequent negotiations led by Mr Machila, Mr. Mundia, Attorney General, Mulilo Kabesha, Solicitor General, Marshal Muchende, DPP Lillian Fulata Siyuni and Natasha Kalimukwa the Administrator General, the parties agreed to a forensic audit that would lead to the dropping of the criminal charges against Mr Milingo and an indemnity or immunity from prosecution.

Milingo Lungu’s petition in summary;

28. Your Petitioner shall aver that the resignation and discontinuance of the Judicial Review action to challenge the suspension was induced by the various representations and undertakings made by State Agents referred to above in the negotiation of the bargain.

29. This bargain was evidenced by two agreements (hereinafter referred to as “the Agreement), namely, the Consent Settlement Agreement dated 17th March, 2022, drafted by Mr. Christopher Mundia (Special Assistant to the President – Legal Affairs) and executed between the Petitioner and Mrs Natasha Kalimukwa in her capacity as Official Receiver as well as an Immunity Agreement made on the 22nd March 2022 between the Petitioner and Mrs. Lilian Fulata Siyuni in her capacity as the Director of Public prosecution.

30. In furtherance of the bargain and pursuant to the consent settlement agreement, your petitioner on the 17th March, 2022 resigned as Provisional Liquidator for Konkola Copper Mines PLC (In Provisional Liquidation) and pursuant to the Immunity Agreement, the Director of Public Prosecutions did on the 5th April 2022 enter nolle prosequi’s in the matters pending before Hon Felix kaomafor the alleged theft and money laundering involving K4.4 million and those before Hon Jenipher Bwalya for alleged theft and money laundering of K17.25 million. (See full document on our website www.dailynationzambia.com

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