Fred M’membe has demanded that Lusaka High Court Judge Sunday Nkonde be removed from handling the matter in which the Post Newspaper has been placed on provisional liquidation.
In a letter to the Judge in Charge at the Lusaka High Court and copied to the Chief Justice, Mr M’membe accused Justice Nkonde of having attempted to close down the Post Newspaper five years ago.
He said it is inconceivable that Justice Nkonde can be in good conscience to determine a matter involving a company he tried to destroy five years ago.
Mr M’membe said as a lawyer in private practice, Mr Nkonde brought an action against the Post Newspaper in relation to the Zambian Airways allegedly on behalf of Finance Bank just before the 2011 general elections.
He said actions contained scandalous accusations and bore the hallmarks of being politically inspired.
“What is worrying is that Justice Nkonde’s conduct in this matter is that we know have it on good authority that when he commenced the action against the Post Newspapers Limited, he was acting without authority from Finance Bank,” Mr M’membe said.
He said that action was calculated to destroy the Post Newspapers and lead to its liquidation as part of a political scheme to silence critical media.
“What was the motive of bringing an action against the Post Newspapers on behalf of Finance Bank without being instructed by the bank?”
“Even if he had instructions to act, how can a Judge sit to determine a matter involving a party he has sued in circumstances that suggest misconduct?”
Mr M’membe added, “Justice Nkonde must not hear this matter. Justice must not only be seen, it must be seen to be done.”
“To this day, Judge Nkonde has failed to disclose who instructed him to sue Post Newspapers Limited on behalf of Finance Bank Limited. We challenge him to disclose who retained him in that matter,” Mr M’membe said.
Meanwhile, Post Newspapers employees have accused provisional liquidator of Post Newspaper Limited Lewis Mosho of subjecting them to endless defamation.
Post Newspapers workers said for a long time, they opted to remain silent hoping he would stop.
Workers Representative Oliver Chisenga said the workers are not crooks or criminals.
“When it comes to issues of integrity, Mr Mosho cannot compare himself to us. While he has cases in the courts of law questioning his integrity, we have none. As a liquidator of other entities, Mr Mosho is facing accountability litigation. It should not be forgotten that The Post exposed Mr Mosho’ s dealings,” Mr Chisenga said.
He said there is no Post employee who is trying to steal motor vehicles from the company.
“They have decided to hold on to these motor vehicles, as is normal practice in this country, until their benefits are paid. There are many former government employees at all levels still holding on to government motor vehicles, other property and housing waiting for their benefits to be paid. Our police camps have many retired officers still holding on to government accommodation until their benefits are paid.”
Mr Chisenga charged that the workers will also hold on to these motor vehicles until Mr Mosho pays them what is due to them.
“This is not theft. If this is theft, let the police officers working with him, those he has hired to become liquidation officers, come and arrest us and take us to court. We know Mr Mosho is working with state agencies on a private or civil matter but this should not give him the right to malign us, insult us every day,” he said.
“We are asking him to change his approach and be more professional in his work. Maligning us is not part of the duties of the liquidator, let alone a provisional one. Let there be decency and decorum in this whole undertaking. There are many things that have been done in a wrong way so far. But there should be limits in how low this should go.”