Find us on Google+

Saturday, 29 August 2009

And a bonus quote...

"An appeal should only be made when there is a likelihood of it succeeding. Appealing because of concerns of members of the public without regard to the likelihood of success is actually an abuse of the judicial process"

9 comments:

  1. Surely if not a conviction on theft, then at least money laundering:

    http://www.postzambia.com/content/view/12959/

    The Joker FTJ cannot and should not be allowed to lay a hand on the colossal sum of $8m he's claiming to have been donated by 'anonymous' donors. The fact that he's refused to speak on oath about the origin of that money, should give the state every reason to confiscate the loot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Usually a dictatorship exists within the ideas of a leader. If a leader is a lawyer, then he will use law to dictate over you. If he is a politician, then he will use politics to dictate over you. In FTJ's case, the law was clearly being manipulated in order to keep him busy and thus, away from MMD internal squables. Nkole spoke of so many bigger cases and yet these are not filed in court. Why?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think FMD is correct. The Task Force took their strongest case to the courts and it fail flat.

    The other point is that FTJ does not have to name the sources of $8m under the law. Presidents are not compelled to declare their gifts. This clearly needs to change but for now FTJ is free to claim the $8m.

    Finally, it is the role of the prosecution to PROVE that $8m was acquired illegally, NOT the role of the defence to prove it was acquired LEGALLY.

    This is how our legal system works - it places the burden on the prosecution not the defence.

    I would go on to say, that Kapoko is also in the same position. It is not Kapoko's job to prove that he got his billions legally. The law presumes that he did. It is the job of the prosecutors to demonstrate that he stole.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I do not think that the prosecution took their strongest case to the Zambian courts, because the case before that court accused FTJ of stealing only half a million dollars, while the case before the London High court had a bit more, much more.

    It may well be that the burden of proof lies on the part of the prosecutor. However, why will Chiluba not speak on oath about the true origins of that money as an accused person?

    Anyway, the fact is that money was laundered into a UK based account and therefore UK law should prevail. Therefore as far as I am concerned, the guilty verdict meted on him by the UK court should prevent him laying claim to the $8m.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anyway, last thought, to expect anything out of Zambian law in respect of dealing with the corrupt political elite is wishful thinking. Poor folk will forever face the full wrath of the law when bigger criminals walk to the bank laughing.

    I mean, spare a thought for the poor Post reporter accused of distributing porn. The President himself asked for her prosecution. And the police didn't spare a moment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Zedian,

    I suspect we are not that far apart. So let me comment more specifically.

    "I do not think that the prosecution took their strongest case to the Zambian courts, because the case before that court accused FTJ of stealing only half a million dollars, while the case before the London High court had a bit more, much more."

    I meant STRONGEST in terms of being able to secure CRIMINAL conviction in our courts.
    Its quiet obvious that the $500k is there most serious case because had Chiluba been found guilty he would have faced imprisonment. Civil Judgements are...civil :)

    "It may well be that the burden of proof lies on the part of the prosecutor. However, why will Chiluba not speak on oath about the true origins of that money as an accused person?"

    Chiluba is acting like anyone else would do in his position. Using the full force of the law. By our legal system failure to speak does not mean you are guilty or have something to hide. This is why when you are arrested, the Police say "you have a right to remain silent, anything you say can be used AGAINST YOU in the court of law".

    Chiluba did the RATIONAL thing not to have testified.

    Is it morally correct? That becomes a theological or philosophical question. We can be here for ages with that one!

    "Anyway, the fact is that money was laundered into a UK based account and therefore UK law should prevail."

    My view is that Zambia is a sovereign state. If the situation was reversed the UK would never allow a Zambian judgement to be enforced in its courts.

    We should be very wary of setting dangerous precedents just to pursue one man.

    Incidentally, do you know that it is not illegal for a UK company to commit corruption abroad? It is only illegal to do it the UK. There are moves to have this changed, but as things stands thats the law in the UK!

    "Therefore as far as I am concerned, the guilty verdict meted on him by the UK court should prevent him laying claim to the $8m."

    I think you are correct that if the Civil Judgement was enforced then of course GRZ would take the $8m among other possessions.

    But also remember that GRZ are building Chiluba a very expensive house, they pay him pensions and on top that Chiluba has a free car and security etc. The man will most likely become a star now. The $8m is just politics. Chiluba most likely has millions and millions stashed somewhere. He was just waiting for this criminal offences to be sorted out.

    We have been dribbled.


    "...to expect anything out of Zambian law in respect of dealing with the corrupt political elite is wishful thinking. Poor folk will forever face the full wrath of the law when bigger criminals walk to the bank laughing..."

    I agree. The judiciary is inherently political because the tough questions are always settled by them. A way needs to be found to ensure Judicial independence. Its not just inventing new rules but also for Zambians themselves to take ownership and start policing the Judiciary. Zambians need to learn to agitate for change.

    That said, I have come convinced that the failure of leadership in Zambia is also the failure of Zambian thinkers.

    Zambians have not moved from diagnosis mode to solution mode. Until we start providing solutions rather just criticise I think it is very difficult to move those in power. We need an intellectual alternative. At the moment I have not seen it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cho,

    "We need an intellectual alternative. At the moment I have not seen it.

    I am not sure about that. The way I see it, is that a lot of intellectuals (at least the ones I know), simply give up on Zambian politics.

    Take the current Zamtel saga for instance. We could put together the most intellectual thoughts on it and present to the govt, but it is now a forgone conclusion that they will have it their way, no matter what anyone says. It's that simple.

    Why? Because they can! And that's what we must begin to sort out tenaciously, however difficult and frustrating it is.

    On the UK High Court ruling, I fully understand the sovereign state issue and Chiluba is comfortably hiding behind that. That's all he has to protect him and the fact that Zambian law is so inadequate, much to his convenience. And is that not the case across Africa, with all the intellectuals we have, from Nigerian rocket scientists to world class writers right across to World Bank and even ITU Managing Directors?

    It is not difficult to imagine that all those intellectuals have tried and largely failed to influence political changes in their own countries. The African political elite will not allow it.

    It's true that the UK has no law preventing UK companies paying bribes abroad. It's actually true across Europe with Germany accused of even taxing those bribes. However, as you know the Western media and industry watchdogs do not let that pass by them, as evidenced in such high profile cases as BAE Systems.

    But that's irrelevant to the Chiluba case. We cannot apply the "He without sin, cast the first stone" principle to real life today.

    As I said, the Zamtrop account at that Zanaco branch in London was a UK-based account and therefore it should actually have been left to UK authorities to investigate any alleged criminal activities related to that account. Therefore issues of sovereignty do not arise, in my opinion.

    I've heard people talk about Chiluba's acquittal having saved Zambia the embarrassment of sending a former President to Prison. But, didn't Chiluba himself inflict that damage on his predecessor, despite the entire nation's discomfort about it? Had Mandela not intervened the evil little man would have had no qualms about locking up KK and throwing away the key!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It would have been helpful if we had the documents of appeal lodged by the taskforce for us to assess the merits and demerits of the arguments otherwise everything else here is speculation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Zedian,

    I think by an "intellectual alternative", I meant that there's more as Zambians we can do instead of politicking.

    Strong civilisations are built in universities and other centres of knowledge. Ultimately it is renewal in these places that will help shape our society.

    If you want to know the future of Zambia, just look at our schools.

    If we want to reach and change Zambia, I remain convinced the best way is to start engaging our young people. It is these that we must begin to educate to think differently. We need to think 10 - 15 years rather than than 2011.

    ReplyDelete

All contributors should follow the basic principles of a productive dialogue: communicate their perspective, ask, comment, respond,and share information and knowledge, but do all this with a positive approach.

This is a friendly website. However, if you feel compelled to comment 'anonymously', you are strongly encouraged to state your location / adopt a unique nick name so that other commentators/readers do not confuse your comments with other individuals also commenting anonymously.