Mystery still surrounds the sudden disappearance of the case file of the controversial K14 billion (unrebased) loan obtained from the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) by the defunct Zambian Airways.
The K14 billion Zambian Airways case file has disappeared from the High Court registry although the matter has been scheduled for commencement of retrial next week after it was redirected from the Supreme Court.
This means that petitioners who wished to join the case to defend the K14 billion can not do so.
A Second search at the High Court registry yesterday proved futile yet again with most of the officers confirming that they knew about the voluminous case file on the country’s most controversial loan according to Judge Nigel Mutuna obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, his brother Nchima and their business partner Fred M’membe who is the owner of the Post Newspapers.Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali in February this year announced that it would be joining the legal battle demanding that the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan obtained by Mutembo Nchito, his brother Nchima and M’membe be paid back.
In a letter dated 3rd February 2014 addressed to the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, Tayali whose office was this week broken into and a computer stolen by some unknown people said the case of Zambian Airways was still under Judge Albert Wood because the procedure of transferring the case was not followed.
The disappearance of the file was brought to the attention of the Daily Nation by civil petitioners who are demanding to join the matter to protect the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia which the Nchito brothers and their business partner M’membe have refused to pay back.
The Daily Nation yesterday was at the High Court half the day but could not trace the 2009/HPC/0322 file, the case which has since been allocated to Judge Justine Chashi who sat on the Wynter Kabimba tribunal.
“We know this file and it has been a controversial and voluminous file. It has controversial personalities such as our DPP Mutembo Nchito, Fred M’membe and the brother to the DPP. We know the scheduled date for which it is coming up but we sincerely do not know where it is. Normally what happens is that the Judge collects the files on the course list a week before the date but we have no idea whether Judge Chashi got the file. But if he did, then it was not with our knowledge, said one of the officers.
The officers promised that they would continue looking for the file stating that even if it was not in their offices, the soft copy of the case was well documented and well kept.
But the disappearance of the K14 billion case file has thrown into jeopardy efforts by individual Zambians and institutions interested in joining the case to make any submissions to the case and feel that there could be efforts by known forces to exclude them from defending the loan. He said government attempts to discontinue the case was a source of concern that public money could be permanently lost because the people involved belonged to a fraternity of the ruling elite. Tayali stated that his organisation had decided to join the case because it had become clear that government was not willing to pursue the case to its logical conclusion in the interest of the nation. The Supreme Court has ordered the retrial of K14 billion DBZ loan saga with Judge MuyindaWanki ruling that in the name of justice, the case should be redirected to the High Court under a different Judge because Judge Nigel Mutuna who had presided over the matter did not have the jurisdiction.The Supreme Court also blasted Nchito, his brother Nchima and M’membe for contemptuously ignoring court decorum and walking out of a court session when the proceedings were going on when Judge Mutuna was delivering the judgment.