Recovery of K14bn DBZ loan to benefit Zambians

Success in the recovery of the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan from defunct Zambian Airways directors will benefit Zambians because the money will be made available to many other Zambians seeking to capitalize their businesses.

It is for this reason that the Zambian Voice, a civil rights organization must be allowed to join DBZ to vigorously pursue recovery of the loan because government had attempted to remove the matter from court to avoid pursuing the debt, which if fully recovered would benefit Zambians.

Addressing the High Court yesterday, Joshua Zimba, from Makebi Zulu Advocates, argued that in the tax-payers interest that the Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali should be allowed to join the matter to ensure that the K14 billion DBZ loan, which according to Judge Nigel Mutuna was obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation, was fully recovered.

Mr Zimba was arguing against opposition of joinder by the DBZ and its lawyer Buta Gondwe who did not want Mr Tayali to join the matter.

DBZ lawyer Buta Gonwe objected to the application by Mr Tayali to join in the matter arguing that the joinder would put the bank into disrepute.

Mr Tayali argued that it was unmistakable that DBZ existed to serve public good and that was why he was determined to be part of the public in pursuing that the loan be paid.

He said it was only logical that he should be allowed to join in the matter because Zambians as tax-paying citizens had an interest in the financial fortunes of DBZ.

He stated that the High Court should take judicial notice of the fact that DBZ was not a private entity and that Zambians had real stake in it.

He argued that the failure by the Attorney general who is the custodian of public interest to join in the proceedings could therefore not hinder conscientious Zambian orgainisations such as the Zambian Voice taking an interest in DBZ especially when there was a possibility that the tax-paying public would be denied the benefit of having money owed to their institution paid back.

“There have been attempts on the part of the government to avoid the pursuit of the debt which if paid would benefit the applicant as well as other tax payers. It is thus with this noted public interest that the application was filed and there is no bar in bringing the application as the matter has since commenced de novo,” Mr Tayali said.

Mr Tayali said he was intending to join in the pursuing the DBZ loan as a derivative action as a beneficiary under the contract entered into by DBZ.

And the defence lawyers John Sangwa and Nchima Nchito argued that Mr Tayali did not have locus standi in his application and that the matter was resjudicata because the matter had been decided.

But lawyer Gilbert Phiri said there was no hindrance for Mr Tayali to be joined because the matter was starting de novo in the High Court meaning that previous decisions did not stand and that the Zambian Voice chief was completely in order to join in the matter.

Ruling has been reserved.