By Field Ruwe EdD
“We look forward to rigorous defense of facts,” said Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) Executive Director Alexander Von Bismarck in the recent video address, setting the stage for a showdown between Jean Kapita, Given Lubinda, and Tasila Lungu as plaintiffs and EIA and News Diggers as defendants. Also indirectly putting Edgar Chagwa Lungu, president of Zambia on trial. If the presiding judge refuses to get in bed with the boss Minister of Justice Given Lubinda and slumber on the rights of the accused, then equity, which delights to do justice not by halves will prevail, and the lawsuit will either exonerate President Edgar Lungu or expose a heinous crime stage-managed by the Mukula Queenpin Jean Kapata. The cruelty of the lawsuit, as it hangs darkly waiting on the table of justice in the High Court of Zambia is that as the Queenpin goes so goes the president.
To save the president, Kapata, Lubinda, and Tasila must hire Zambia’s Clarence Darrow or Johnnie Cochran—lawyers known for miraculous reprieves. Here is why: For EIA to implicate a president of a sovereign nation in such a horrendous scandal that reflects negatively upon his honor, and obliterate a legacy he is laboriously trying to build can only mean two things; either Bismarck and his team are bent on conducting covert psychological warfare to destabilize, alter and oust governments in Third World countries, as Kapata insinuates, or EIA possesses irrefutable evidence beyond the Mukula Cartel Report.
Jean Kapata the Queenpin
As the lawsuit hangs darkly waiting, President Edgar Lungu, his daughter Tasila, Jean Kapata, and Given Lubinda remain guilty insomuch as the Mukula Cartel Report is concerned and have to show the entire world they are innocent. For the past two months, the report has prostrated them. It has lodged in the deep recess of their conscious the unspoken sense of guilt and left them to cope with denial of responsibility that only the court can decide. Moreover, the report has left President Lungu with a shivered moral rectitude and a permanent imprint of a corrupt president who colluded with his daughter to defraud the people of Zambia. In the eyes of the world, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia remains guilty until proven innocent.
With Kapata entrapped in all this, it is impossible to vindicate the president and his daughter Tasila without first proving her innocent. Jean Kapata is at the center of the Mukulagate. She is likely to become a victim of her own lawsuit and take others with her. Here is why. Kapata is fully aware of the illegal trafficking of the Mukula by the four Chinese organized crime syndicates; Wo Shing Wo, San Yee On, 14-Hao, and 14K-Ngai. Called triads, they are part of the Hong Kong ancient mafia groups that have found their way to Africa. In Zambia, like in other Mukula (rosewood) countries, they take advantage of countries disposed to corruption and bribe their way to the top.
The kingpin of the Mukula syndicate in Southern Africa is Xuecheng Hou (aka Jose) a Namibian-Chinese businessman currently facing several trafficking charges in Namibia for wildlife contraband trafficking. According to Oxpeckers, an investigative environmental media outlet, Hou, who runs New Force Logistics has found “ideal targets” in Zambia where he has most of the harvested Mukula. EIA reports that Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata helps traffickers like Hou benefit from the Mukula trade. Comparable media accusations of Kapata dealing in Mukula trafficking in the name of the president have been circulating since she became Minister of Lands and Natural Resources. In court, EIA defense lawyers are likely to portray Kapata as the Queenpin of the Mukula.
Caution: EIA can pack a Fatal Punch
Don’t underrate EIA. Olivia Gordon of the British daily The Guardian writes that although small, EIA packs a big punch when it comes to environment crimes. For years, EIA undercover investigators have fought environment battles with some of the most sophisticated corrupt politicians and dangerous timber criminals in the world and won. Gordon states that in the last ten years, only once has an investigation gone wrong. In her article titled “Don’t Mess With The Eco-Warrior,” Gordon likens EIA undercover investigators to CIA operatives. Each one is a master of camouflage, with a sharp eye, outstanding observation skills, and an analytical mind. To gather accurate information, EIA investigators employ a number of surveillance and investigative techniques to infiltrate or embed into suspected countries continuously and for a long time.
Apparently, the Mukula Cartel Report was produced under similar clandestine circumstances. EIA undercover investigators entered Zambia wearing secret cameras and microphones to gather undeniable evidence needed to make their case. They became, according to Gordon, “consummate actors, posing, for instance, as Western investors, timber traders, using carefully-crafted aliases and carrying phony business cards.” It is possible they have sat at the same dinner table with Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata. It is also possible they have met Lubinda and Tasila, the latter who is never far from trouble, so it seems.
Law Must Take Its Course
The stage is set for Zambia’s trial of the century. Enjoying home-court advantage, the plaintiffs had hoped to fend off EIA, hold News Diggers accountable, hastily conduct inquisitions in the absence of rebutting testimony, and obtain a favorable verdict more in harmony with denials from the plaintiffs than truth—and clear their names and that of the president. This is a cunningly devised litigation stratagem common among apt lawyers who know the issue of service of process in international law is fraught with difficulties. Kapata, Tasila, and Lubinda were hoping such strictures would make it impossible for EIA, domiciled in London, to show up. Well, Bismarck and his team are coming. President Lungu must grant them safe-conduct—the procedure by which they will be permitted to safely enter the country and leave the jurisdiction without harassment and detention. Bismarck and his team must not be subjected to threats and comeuppance via arrest or detention.
In the end, let the chips fall where they may. Should Bismarck and his team fall short, and be found guilty after a fair trial, all their investigations in Asia, South America, and Africa must be rendered unworthy of the piece of paper on which they were written. Bismarck must face the consequences of the law and EIA must be charged with espionage and barred from Sub-Sahara Africa. On the other hand, should EIA win, President Lungu, his daughter Tasila, Jean Kapata, and Given Lubinda should be labelled fraudulent uncouth criminals and held accountable.
Author is a US-based Zambian multicultural scholar practitioner and author. He holds a Doctor of Education degree from Northeastern University, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.