Airtel Zambia faces Perjury, criminal offence of lying in court
Airtel Networks Zambia Plc faces a likely perjury charge after falsifying a report purportedly issued by KPMG in an ongoing case where the company has been sued for allegedly diverting a citizen’s calls.
This is in a matter in which Lusaka Journalist, Thomas Zgambo petitioned the Lusaka High Court over Airtel diverting his messages to and from his phone mobile number between 2013 and 2014.
According to court documents, Lusaka High Court Judge Susan Wanjelani on September 27, 2018 ordered Airtel to produce call records for Mr. Zgambo for the period January 1, 2013 to December 31st 2014.
Before trial could start, Airtel produced call records for the period January 1, 2013 to March 31st 2014 and August 2014 to December 2014 skipping April 2014 to July 2014.
Mr. Zgambo argued that his interest was call records that Airtel had skipped.
Judge Wanjelani then adjourned the matter to January 12, 2021. Before January 12, 2021, on November 11, 2020 to be specific, Airtel through its lawyers Ranchold Chungu Advocates filed in court an Affidavit sworn by Mr. Jason Chulu the Legal and Regulatory Affairs Manager for Airtel asking Judge Wanjelani to grant them special leave to vary her September 2018 order.
Airtel Networks PLC claimed that the company could not find the missing call records because KPMG had audited the network and could not find the call records and filed a KPMG report dated September 2020.
On December 9, 2020, The Journalist’s lawyers Jonah and Partners wrote to KPMG Zambia asking the auditing firm to confirm generating the report filed in court by Airtel Zambia.
On December 10, 2020, KPMG Zambia through its Chief Executive Officer and Senior Partner Jason Kazilimani Jr wrote back to Jonah and Partners denying ever generating or authorising any one to produce the report filed in court.
Mr. Zgambo filed in court both his Lawyers letter to KPMG Zambia and the response from KPMG Zambia. On January 11, 2021 a day before January 12, 2021 the date set for trial, Airtel again through Mr. Jason Chulu filed in court an Affidavit claiming the report was initiated by KPMG Zambia but generated by KPMG India were Airtel has its headquarters.
On January 16, 2021, The Lusaka based Journalist wrote to KPMG Head office in the Netherlands asking whether KPMG India can file a report in Zambian courts when the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants Act does not allow anyone to practice in Zambia without being registered with ZICA.
On January 19, 2021, KPMG International Compliance Office in Netherlands responded to Mr. Zgambo’s inquiry and referred him to KPMG International investigative wing called KMPG International Hotline managed by an independent firm called Clearview Connects.
The KPMG International Hotline through Clearview Connects launched its independent investigations and on March 15, 2021 released a review to the Lusaka based Journalist stating categorically that neither KPMG Zambia nor KPMG India generated the report filed by Airtel Networks before the High Court of Zambia.
See correspondence between KPMG
International, KPMG International Hotline and Mr.Thomas Zgambo attached.