Civil Societies Issue Joint Statement on Allegations against Judges in Savenda Vs Stanbic Bank Case

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The Judges at the ceremony
The Judges at the ceremony

JOINT STATEMENT BY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS ON ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SOME JUDGES IN THE SAVENDA Vs. STANBIC BANK CASE AT A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT THE FOUR PILLARS LODGE, LUSAKA MONDAY 11TH JUNE 2018

LEADERS OF THE VARIOUS NGOS REPRESENTED,

FRIENDS FROM THE PRESS,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

May I begin by thanking you all, especially you our colleagues from the media for honouring our invitation to attend this very important press conference.

We have called this press conference in view of the serious allegations that have been reported about the conduct of some Supreme Court Judges in the matter of Savenda Vs. Stanbic Bank Zambia. You will note our interest in this matter that as the National Empowerment Forum (NEF), we were created to among other things champion the empowerment of local enterprises.

Our vision is to promote the empowerment of Zambian owned businesses that can generate wealth for the country and create the much needed employment opportunities for the youths. It is against this background that we have in this consortium, youths that are equally adding their voices. Today, our youths are unable to get employment opportunities because the country has basically exported these opportunities in the name of foreign investment.

It is our duty as an organisation to defend and promote local entrepreneurs who are trying hard under very difficult conditions to contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As NEF, we have taken keen interest in the recent Supreme Court judgement involving one local enterprise.

As you may be aware the Supreme Court overturned a decision by the High Court that had ordered that Stanbic Bank pays Savenda K192.5 million. In September 2016, High Court Judge, Justin Chashi ordered Stanbic Bank to pay Savenda K192.5 million for loss of business and vital contracts after Stanbic wrongly and negligently reported Savenda to the Credit Reference Bureau for defaulting on instalments. Stanbic appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which decided that the damage suffered by Savenda was only nominal.

In March 2018, three Supreme Court Judges, Nigel Mutuna, Michael Musonda and Evans Hamaundu dismissed the appeal by Savenda. The Judges did not only dismiss the appeal but also ordered Savenda to pay Stanbic costs for all expenses the bank incurred from the High Court to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said Savenda did not suffer even nominal damages and that Stanbic did not breach any of its duties to Savenda.
While we respect the Judgement of the Supreme Court, we are concerned about the recent reports suggesting impropriate against the Honourable men on the bench.

As a consortium, we are deeply saddened at these media reports as they speak to the country’s justice system. It is in the interest of the Judges and indeed the judiciary to ensure that they come clean against these allegations that have been raised and are playing out in the public.

We do not want to delve into the substantive allegations; however we challenge the Chief Justice Madam IREEN MAMBILIMA to save the Judiciary from an impending embarrassment.

In view of the serious allegations that have been raised against some named Judges, we demand the following;

1. That President Edgar Lungu immediately suspends the named Judges to pave way for the setting up of a Tribunal to investigate the serious allegations.

2. The Chief Justice to immediately constitute a Tribunal to probe the named judges without any further delay.

Any imputation of impropriate, especially corruption has the potential to seriously undermine the credibility of the Judiciary. Zambians have reposed their faith and trust in the Courts to resolve any conflicts and differences, and thus must always be above board. It is only fair that the named Judges should be given the opportunity to defend themselves in the face of the allegations so that this very important arm of Government can maintain its integrity.

We also appeal to the Judges themselves to do the right thing by stepping down to allow for a full investigation.

The Judiciary cannot afford to bury its head in the sand against the damming allegations that have been made against the Judges.

NEF and the consortium members will be writing to President Edgar Lungu to suspend the Judges in accordance with the Constitution so that a Tribunal is set up to probe the named Judges so that they are cleared of the allegations.

As an organisation we will also be writing to the Chief Justice to set up a Tribunal.

I thank you and God bless Zambia!

For/On Behalf of

Edgar Siakachoma 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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16 COMMENTS

  1. As usual they will just ignore this request only when the international community joins in we they respond …Chief Justice needs to go ASAP!!

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    • You are joking right ?!
      Kaminamisa is impotent when it comes to disciplinary issues unless one is seeking to be president then all hell will break loose!

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  2. This is unprofessional kind of behaviour and reporting.

    How do you accuse the judges of something so grave and you do not state exactly what the impropriety is.
    We need substance and not speculation. If there is any truth in this then publish it here, with irrifutable evidence.

    Otherwise it looks like someone has been paid to write and/or publish this.
    Do it quick before I call it rubbish.

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    • You’re so ignorant aren’t you? Are you the only ***** that doesn’t know that those judges were paid $190,000 in bribery to turn a case against Savenda. You’re so lazy to read and you expect others to be updating you You cunt! Before you even ask, Yes there is tangible evidence and that’s why the CSOs are raising this issue.
      Now go and read the story and update your empty head! Numbskull!

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  3. Some judgments from our courts are very embarrassing, to say the least. For fear of being in contempt I end there. I still remember what Chilekwa said about judges and what later happened to him. It was a case involving Masiye Motels

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  4. If I was one of the judges I would quickly step aside so that I can clear my name. But that’s wishful thinking. Judges in Zambia from local courts to the highest court are not sincere. I speak from experience. How do you dismiss a case like the one where an employee was caught red handed with the cobalt metal. The magistrate simply told the processing company that there wasn’t enough evidence to connect the suspect with the contraband. …that’s in spite of being found in possession. You wonder how such a person can easily go to bed with no worries at all

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  5. I am not a lawyer but even as a layman, I feek that the High Court’s judgement in which it orderef Stanbic to pay Savenda K192.5 million when the company did not suffer even nominal cost was outrageous . It is my contention thst the Supreme Court did not need to be bribed to arrive at the verdict quashing the High Court’s decision because its judgement was fair and just. Please, let us not create a case where there is no case. It is my sincere submission that allegations of corruption against the named three honourable Supreme Court judges are frivolous and without merit

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  6. There is a lot that is at play here.The Judges are definetly above board.This habit of allowing any Jim and Jack to form an NGO and thereby assume the “apparent right” to speak on behalf of whoever is destructive.These NGO’s if let loose can create havock for innocent people after being paid by certain interest groups.

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  7. Yes let us have an investigation that will either clear the judges or find them wanting. Either way that is when this whole issue will die down. Until then people will continue speculating. And the investigation should be done professionally and not just a sham so that all stakeholders can accept the outcome.

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  8. Here is my prediction: Nothing will happen. ECL does not thrive on such things. He might even ask for a deal.

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  9. Posterity shall judge this generation harshly. How do these people expect to clear their names?
    Just what has happened to good morals and ethics?
    Background checks are not happening in selecting the office bearers. That is all I can say.

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  10. People, how much has this company paid to ZRA for the past 3 years, how much did they loose in the contract , how was this amount arrived at? . these are the easiest we should be looking at instead of just talking from without.

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  11. ARE THESE NOT THE SAME JUDGES UPON WHOM SATA WANTED TO BRING JUDGE CHIKOPA FROM MALAWI? BUT YOU CALLED HIM NAMES, AND DISMISSED HIM. YOU PRAISED THESE JUDGES AS HEROES. NOW WHAT HAS GONE WRONG? PLEASE LEAVE YOUR JUDGES ALONE. AND CONTINUE PRAISING THEM.

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