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Monday, July 4, 2022

High Court allows LAP Green to take case to neutral country, Government to appeal decision

Headlines High Court allows LAP Green to take case to neutral country,...

ZAMTEL
ZAMTEL

Attorney General Mumba Malila has filed a notice of appeal in the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision to grant LapGreen leave to hear its petition in London, England in which it is challenging government’s decision to compulsorily acquire its 75 percent shares in Zamtel.

Lusaka High Court Judge Albert Wood granted LapGreen the application for it to tender evidence by alternative means, for trial to be heard in a neutral foreign country on grounds that its witnesses were being intimidated by the Zambian government and as such, they were scared to come to Zambia.

But Mr Malila has through a notice filed in the highest court of the land expressed the State’s intention to appeal against the ruling.

This is in a matter in which, LapGreen the former owners of Zamtel had asked Mr Justice Wood to grant it leave to adduce evidence by alternative means, for trial to be heard in a neutral foreign country or by any other means available on grounds that its witnesses could not come to Zambia as they were being intimidated.

The Libyan based firm had through an affidavit sworn by David Holiday adviser to the chairperson of LapGreen and Managing Director of Uganda Telecommunication Ltd, a subsidiary of LapGreen, cited a number of reasons why he felt the application should be allowed.

Mr Holiday said both prior to and after the purported compulsorily acquisition of its shares in Zamtel, LapGreen ‘bosses’ had been victims of a number of intimidation tactics by the government.

He alleged that on January 18, 2012, Zamtel bank accounts were blocked by the DEC and a seizure notice issued based on allegations of money laundering.

“This only leads me to one conclusion that they are true. The unchallenged evidence is that Hans Paulsen was escorted by armed police officers to and from his office. Armed police officers also came to look even after he had left for Uganda,” Mr Justice Wood said.

Mr Holiday said on January 24, 2012, government decided to compulsorily acquire the shares in Zamtel and forcibly ejected a number of its management staff.

He said former Zamtel chief executive officer, Hans Paulsen, a Ugandan national who was found at Zamtel offices was surrounded by armed police officers and was told to leave the premises immediately.

He said Mr Paulsen was a critical witness in the matter in which LapGreen has petitioned over government’s decision to acquire its 75 percent shares in Zamtel but he was unwilling to come back to testify because of fear.

But Solicitor General Musa Mwenya in opposition to the application had on January 18, 2012 asked the court not to allow the application on grounds that the company had not cited any rule to support the application.

Mr Mwenya who denied any intimidation said the blocked accounts were done on grounds of investigating money laundering against LapGreen.

He denied preventing LapGreen‘s witnesses to come and testify saying “there is no basis upon which the matter can be heard in a different jurisdiction and is in any case illegal in view of the provisions of the law.”

But in passing his ruling, Mr Justice Wood said it was clear from the affidavit by Mr Mwenya and submissions that none of the allegations by LapGreen’s witnesses have been denied or challenged in any way by the respondent.

“This only leads me to one conclusion that they are true. The unchallenged evidence is that Hans Paulsen was escorted by armed police officers to and from his office. Armed police officers also came to look even after he had left for Uganda,” Mr Justice Wood said.

He said since LapGreen was the one who wished to have evidence taken to England it was only equitable that it bears all respondents’ reasonable expenses relating to the case.

He said “the net result is that the application is allowed and the petitioner should be responsible for respondents’ reasonable expenses. The issues raised are novel.”

82 COMMENTS

    • Despite the legal battles under way, I am happy ZAMTEL is ours. We cant afford to mortgage such s strategic company to foreigners if we care about our national security.

      I fully support the move to take back what belongs to us.

      We could do the same with the mines.. The copperbelt despite contributing 75% of the total forex is just a shell of its glorious past

    • Sisi is not replying to number 1 . Lt this reply message addition is being abused by people replying to number 1 message unrelated so that their comment floats on top. Either ban it or have unrelated messages removed. In some stories it is viral and difficult to follow

    • This ka sisi fella is an imposter.the ka licker is just there to shout amen to anything related to PF no matter how putrid the issue may be.he gets paid from bwinjis where
      they even give him a pat on the bum.

    • @jack jones Chingwere,

      Just express you opinion on the issue at hand. Don’t take it personal my dear. and if you are in love with insults, the watchdog is the place to be.

      One thing I can assure you of is that your attempt to lure me into exchange of insults will lamentably fail.

    • DOES THE LEGAL SYSTEM OF ZAMBIA WORK FOR THE COMMON MAN IN ZAMBIA? ANYWAY, I AM NOT A LEGAL PROFESSIONAL MAYBE THE DECISION BY THE COURT IS BEYOND ME. BUT I DON’T THINK HERE WHEN THEY MAKE A DECISION AGAINST AN ERRING COMPANY THEIR LEGAL SYSTEM WOULD EVEN ALLOW TO WASTE PUBLIC MONEY BY ALLOWING THE ERRING INVESTORS TO PURSUE THE CASE ANYWHERE. AS I SAID MAYBE LEGAL MATTERS ARE TOO COMPLICATED FOR ME.

    • London is not a neutral country, They stole a lot of our natural resources during colonialism and have never made the effort to pay back, yet we have honoured their royal family naming our mosi-o-tunya after her.

      Can you imagine they even stole our broken hill man

      Our courts have jurisdiction to hear this case, the issue of intimidation does not arise. Our govt moved quickly to safeguard our national assets before they could be damaged.

      If the useful idi0t Amsterdam can be allowed to come and defend his thieving RB I don’t see any problems with these non-descript chaps from Lapgreen

      I pray that the supreme court will overturn the lower court decision

    • @jack jones Chingwere,

      Just express you opinion on the issue at hand. Don’t take it personal my dear. and if you are in love with insults, the watchdog is the place to be not here.

      One thing I can assure you of is that your attempt to lure me into exchange of insults will lamentably fail

    • The fact is that RB with his children sold ZAMTEL for a song. ZAMTEL belongs to the people of Zambia and not Bwezani Rupiah Banda and his children.

      LapGreen are thieves together with the Bandas. Look at RB knocking at every embassy door and oposition leaders’ doors for help.

  1. Just go and have the case heard on neutral ground. It was stu.pid of you to start deporting people so as to grab their property. You did the same with Zambezi Portland cement. Deport and then grab! We are in the 21st century for God’s sake. Albert Wood is in for insults from the PF kaponyas! But they should understand what due process and natural justice mean!

    • Goncalves whatever…
      be consistent in what you say or write.
      go back to your previous comments on the judiciary when they nullified a good number of mmd parliamentary seats. according to you, they were pf stooges.
      now what do you say about those allegations?
      on the matter at hand, i think its just a matter of the executive vs the judiciary here. silent protest on the chikopa still in zambia and his commission still alive and waiting to pounce. plain for everyone to see.

    • I have gone back and I have found no such thing. I challenge you to show me an article in which I accused the Judiciary of been biased! You’re a congenital liar!

    • You should give credit to PF that a judge can make a free ruling unlike frog face who instructed a magitrate to acquit Chiluba. Like it or not this is agood a example of a free judiciary

    • If Gonclave you cannot see anything in the past, then ulichipuba. Ubupuba tabapola at least amashilu yalapola.

    • @Remak Makai, You’re really some smelly fart! What exactly is your point? Why the bloody hell should I see something in the past that I never said? Just get lost idi.ot!

    • A country run by kaponyas whose cases are based on emotions and the judicary is just an appendage of state hse.

  2. If they killed their own leader Gardaffi because of all the wrongs he did, what makes them believe that he was not wrong on ZAMTEL?

  3. Excellent decision.As long as zambia keeps a dual system of justice;one for sacred cows and another for “the expendables” we will always be treated as a joke of a country.Contracts have to be honoured and the DPP has to be seen as independent and not taking orders from plot one.

  4. Aha! is England a neutral ground? I dont think so, Libya’s A********s is always being kissed by England and America cos of the millions sitting in their banks from this oil rich country, do you think England will give a ****** about this poor minning country called Zambia? Prepare for a settlement, otherwise, you will end up paying more than you took!

    • It is only the legal eagles that stand to benefit from this.This is money that GRZ is going to flush down the toilet because Zambia is under an *****’s guide who has stepped off the cliff on an number of things that are important to a common man.

    • Last time you were happy to have Chiluba tried in London and the nation was happy with the outcome then and the same man was attorney general then. What has changed this time that you dont feel comfortable with this case being heard in London. Could it be that the grounds are flimsy? Just wondering.

    • Well, first and foremost, when did i ever tell you that i was very happy about the Chiluba trial and where? stop dreaming in broad day light, lies will never take you anywhere, just say that you are always happy when you think anything negative will come up to embarrass the Government which makes you a traitor cos that is Zambia being taken to court!

  5. The heat has come,if you have the evidence no problem,because of the very evidence you have no fears pf. The same way you are treating RB,kabimba you are finished,infact it is you whois doing all the gestapo dirty work for sata,but my friend time is running out.

  6. Mwaluza kale ka ma ZAMBIANS, MAMAMAMA, LIBYANS HAVE THE BEST LAYWERS not our useless Lawyers who are always politically swayed

    • Because some very unwise Zambians thought they can just grab things that were legally sold to foreigners.We failed to run Zamtel period!So it was sold period.Kaponyas thought they could grab it and put their own Kaponyas as board members. Thats not how the world works!There are rules and you have to follow the rules.

  7. What kind of decision is this, in a neutral country, was Zamtel sold through a neutral country? These judges……!

  8. Wow, those are pretty shaky grounds on which to base such a monumental decision by Judge Wood. What Zambian law supports such a ruling? I would think in order to move a court cases out of Zambia; reasons have to be more than just mere perceptions of intimidation.

    The presence of police officers at ZAMTEL offices during the takeover was necessary in order to secure the integrity of the evidence and to protect company assets. Given the fact that this was a “hostile” takeover of shares by the Zambian govt (a move not unheard of in business or unique to Zambia,) govt had an obligation to make sure there were no “shenanigans” done by ZAMTEL execs b4 exiting.

    Just wondering though, why couldn’t Judge Wood refer the matter to the Supreme Court if he was punching above his weight?

  9. Ba PF did you honestly believe LAP Green would trust your courts even when you did not follow the due process of your own law in taking over the company.

    Biased commission of inquiry, blocked LAP green submissions, unproven corruption allegations, confused commission chairman, political appointments after takeover.

    SERIUOSLY BA PF, SERIOUSLY

  10. A policeman merely being armed cannot be regarded as intimidation. These guys are expected to be armed when responding to any potentially volatile situation. And I think this was one such situation. In countries like the US or South Africa, police are ALWAYS armed. So, according to Judge Wood he would regard it as intimidation each time police stop you on the road to do a routine check on your car? Even when you go to report a case at a police station you’d find each one of them carrying a weapon, is that intimidation? Did police point a Gun at Hans Paulsen? Did they verbally of physically abuse him? Police went to inspect the premises AFTER Paulsen’s departure and this too is regarded as intimidation? Wood’s judgement is flawed.

    • Police have been harassing and intimidating people since PF came into power.Don’t start pretending they haven’t.Isn’t our Edgar Lungu busy appologising to a priest today for deporting him illegally.How do you think that priest felt being taken by police and deprived of a lawyer and sent out of the country.Going after a person heavily armed just because your leader thinks he is a threat is intimidation.Our own opposition leaders are busy shuttling being police cells and courts.Gary Nkombo was harrassed.How do you charge someone with murder just because some PF cadre orders the police to do so -even without proof.If this isn’t intimidation I don’t know what is.

  11. The rule of law will always triumph over the law of the jungle. Justice Wood was dealing with a case without precedent. let us wait and see the logical conclusion of this case and many more to come.

  12. Flawde indeed Zamtel belong to Zambia LAP green was warned even before they bought the company by PF they knew the all transaction was subject for a tribunal why did they go ahead and buy it this are consequences of buying stolen Goods for a lack of a better term. Sorry Guys we have Zamtel Back to ourselves.

  13. Zamtel is for Zambians. Whether London judgement or not, Zamtel will belong to Zambians and not foreigners. LapGreen was not the best that could run Zamtel. They boobooed in the way they acquired the asset. RP Capital knows what corruption they committed.

    • We failed to run it like we are failing to run a small country 13million.Look at our roads and infrastructure.We chase our graduates from our country everyday .Who is going to run Zamtel? Kaponyas?

    • check your history. what was ZCBC, shoprite, called before? Zamtel has changed names many times. What was it called before?

  14. Judge Wood is standing his ground now and wants to be redeemed from the shackles of Membe. It was stupid to take over Lapgreen in such a manner and expect no challenge. Only PF kaponyas ans dunderheads would find something wrong in Judge Wood’s ruling

  15. Maiko sata please shave your your pubic hair before you shave other people’s hair or atleast let your Kaseba shave you.

  16. It looks like we have more foreigners than Zambians in these moves, perhaps more dog like beings than Human beings, Sela munshila iwe chi muti

    • you have also noticed that?
      and people are supporting blindly…
      we will disregard the london judgement should…

  17. a lesson to always follow the due process and not political sensationalism when dealing with business. There must have been arbitration and legal recourse clauses in the contract that could permit such a move including citing of political risk/motivation in cases that involve international investment etc. While the cause may be noble ukutekanya kwliwama…we may be on the back foot on this one Zeds, prepare the wallet!

    • It was clear case of how professionals forego professionalism just for the purpose of impressing a boss who clearly did no what he was doing or its implications.

  18. someone clarify. Is it just evidence that will be heard in London or judgement as well. Remember Remember the Chiluba case London judgement that has yet to be registered in Zambia or am i wrong?

  19. I don’t support this judge Wood’s decision. American can not allow a court outside the USA to hear a matter like this one. The company was sold corruptly & Lap Green were warned before buying.

  20. #20, saraphina whatever you call yourself. ulimbwa sama, i believed you grew up in an orphanage with no proper foster parents. you are a disgrace to the society. where on earth do you get the courage of insulting our president? some of us will not sit and watch you insult our president! if you think you have a point why not just say it, you must be cursed.

  21. USELESS JUDGEMENT BY A USELESS AND UNPATRIOTIC JUDGE. ZAMTEL IS OURS SOLD BY THIEVES TO FELLOW THIEVES. WOOD U ARE SICK .POLICE CURRY WEAPON EVERYWHERE EVEN FOR YO SECURITY. WHAT INTIMIDATION ? EVEN THOUGH IT IS LAW. ANY1 CAN READ AND U/STAND IT.

  22. It is shameful that Zambia after 49 years of independence some suddenly are rushing to the international community for issues that are purely Zambian. This shameful behaviour is being promoted by former head of state Rupiah Banda and his surrogate opposition leaders HH, Mumba and Sikota. What happened to patriotism and our sovereignty? What kind of Judge is this Wood who openly shows no confidence in his own judiciary. Zambia has produce excellent legal minds who have proved themselves internationally. A UK judge can’t pass such a decision about his own country. The conduct of Judge Wood is Questionable. There is an emerging crop of “Zambians” in leadership who’s loyalty to this country is questionable. True Zambians must wake up and defend our country against these impostors.

    • There is leadership in this country has been exhibiting emotionalism and not professionalism.PF government is costing the country millions.It shouldn’t be a surprise however,since the PF is made up of former MMD members who plundered our beautiful country in the early 1990’s.They are undoing the good work the late Levy Mwanawasa started and Rupiah Banda continued.Its was a shame the way they grabbed Lapgreen but perhaps an even bigger shame that we failed to run Zamtel and had to sell it.

  23. If a Zambian judge can make this decision for a neutral court, it has now become clear why we need a Malawian judge to handle Zambian affairs. Judge Woods has mutilated our judiciary, no foreigner will ever be tried in this country if such a precedent is set. Every criminal with foreign connections will be using this loophole to escape Zambian laws. I remember a certain case of Belgian doctors who deliberately injected Libyan kids with HIV a few years ago, when they were arrested and brought to the court, the Belgium government begged Gaddafi to have them tried in Belgium and offered $3 billion compensation for the 1500 infected kids. When Gaddafi handed them over to the Belgium govt, it released them without any trial. The Libyans are still dying and no justice for them.

  24. @UNZA,DO U EVEN POSSES CRITICAL THINKING YOURSELF GOING BY THE WAY HAVE WRITTEN? TRANSACTING OUR NATIONAL ASSET IN A FRAUDRANT MANNER 4 THAT MATTER IS FINE WITH U? USELESS ZAMBIAN. ZAMTEL DOES NOT BELONG TO 1 PERSON ALONE. BRAVO PF! DEATH 2 THIEVES!

  25. I once worked at an institution in a neighboring country where a colleague was bundled out of his job (and office) amid armed guard. When he went to court he was simply told that the employer and therefore the government was protecting its assets… In our country sovereignty is such a challenge it is not even funny any more.

  26. This requires a Presidential degree, to depot this ***** called Judge wood immediately, if he is a Zambian he should be stripped off his citizenship.

  27. Really this judge is questionable. How can a normal judge pass that ruling in a careless manner. According to him any foreigner can claim intimidation so that he/she is heard in another country rather than Zambia. This aside, the truth remains that LAPgreen was warned not to go ahead with the fraudulent purchase of ZAMTEL, but could not listen. Pravo to PF that ZAMTEL is back in the hands of Zambians for it belongs to Zambians and not Libyans.

    Peace and Prosperity to Mother Zambia.

  28. viva the judge. viva the judiciary. viva justice. teach the incompetent, ill-baked and compromised pafwaka prosecutors and defence lawyers. I like this. it is a wave of fresh air after too much of toxic winds blowing the Zambian land.

  29. @jill, relations btwn a state and citizens of another state is a subject of international law. That’s basic principles of inter law. Libya has an interest in the case coz it has an obligation or duty to protect its citizens’ interests abroad. Could that was the judge’s reasoning.

  30. @ONE NGWEE. Is a road block or a police station an office of this CEO? In this case, this man was approached at his point of duty which is his office, by armed para paras. Was it a war zone? Brandishing a weapon to carry out a non combative mission, for that matter on a foreign CEO, may be regarded as aggressive and very offensive. This approach is archaic, extreme and intimidatory. Are you arresting a terrorist? This is usually ‘normal’ in a failed Police state. This bunch of folks are very sensitive and are ‘sensors’ of the international business community. Its assumed that his treatment can be repeated on the CEO of Mopani if he ‘crosses the line’.

  31. @lady mystic you have got it all wrong here. Zamtel is registered under Zambian company laws and is domiciled there so its not a case of international law. Even under international law your country of origin cannot defend you for the crimes you commit in a foreign country because upon entry you are oblige to obey the laws of that country. Your country may try to negotiate on your behalf but even then you are still at the mercy of the offended country.

  32. I am just wondering . All the the legal documents that I have signed here in South Africa state that should the matter go to court, it will be heard in a South African court using South African law. None of the documents state that I can take the matter to a court in a country of my choice. I wonder what the contract that Dora signed with LAP Green stated on the aspect in which country, disputes, concerning the contract, should they arise, will be heard. I am aware that cases involving money laundering can be heard in any country, as long as one can prove that the laundered money passed through a bank in that country. What will the UK court base its judgement on considering that the contract was signed in Zambia using Zambian laws. I wait to see …

  33. If you want free money, just peruse through our newspapers on a regular basis. There are many opportunities out there to sue and win multi million kwacha cases and claim damages for breach of contract or enforce specific performance. On an investment of KR.50000, returns are 1000%.

  34. can the high court make such an order? very unlikely otherwise we would have seen a lot of cases going being refereed outside. i do not see this in the high court act cap 27 of the laws of Zambia. mind u the high court has original and unlimited jurisdiction of all matters except those reserved for the IRC

  35. Patrick i agree with you unless the agreement between RB’s government and Lap green had a choice of laws clause in it

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