GOVERNMENT says it will seize the frozen assets and properties belonging to former president Frederick Chiluba and 11 others immediately the London High Court judgement is registered in the Zambian courts.
Speaking on â€œEyeball to eyeballâ€ Muvi TV programme on Monday night, Chief Government spokesperson, Mike Mulongoti, said if there was no appeal from the defendants, Government would have no choice but ask the court to have the frozen assets seized.
“The determination was arrived at by the London Royal Court by Judge Peter Smith and in this case, the Zambian Government won the case.
So we shall proceed to ask for the frozen assets such as money and properties after the 14 days ultimatum in which Dr Chiluba is supposed to pay the Zambian Government has elapsed,” he said.
The London court issued a worldwide freezing order on Dr Chilubaâ€™s and other defendantsâ€™ properties.
Mr Mulongoti has since urged Dr Chiluba to respect the court ultimatum and pay back the Zambian Government the amount requested of him.
Mr Mulongoti who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said Dr Chiluba should pay back the money or make an appeal before bailiffs were engaged.
He also wondered why Dr Chiluba was not recognising the judgement since the court offered the accused a chance to defend themselves.
“The court sat in camera and you remember that the Chikwa Court was rehabilitated in order to make it comfortable for those who could not travel abroad for the hearing, but some people shunned that, and you know it is not good to say that I would never appear before the court because it would be the same court one might make an appeal to after the judgement,” he said.
He said legal experts were studying the judgement and would soon conclude the matter.
In another development, Mr Mulongoti described threats by Southern Province Minister Joseph Mulyata to close down Sky FM Radio, a private radio station in Monze, as unfortunate.
He said at no time did Government harbour such intentions aimed at threatening media growth in the country.
“As Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, please get it from me that Sky FM Radio will still remain operational and it was regrettable that such a statement was made against a radio station when the minister toured the institution,” he said.
The minister appealed to private radio stations to ensure that they operated within the law.
“We don’t want to have a situation where radio stations encourage anarchy in the country.
During last year’s tripartite elections, we had a radio station which was inciting anarchy when election results were being announced,” he said.
He pledged to support the growth of the media industry but called for cooperation from media houses.
“As Government, we have to be careful because not all information gotten by the media can be put to good use, and we don’t want media houses to abuse their authority,â€ he said.