Forced out of Zambia after 40 years

 Yusuf Ismail is a Zambian businessman of Asian origin.

The Supreme Court of Zambia. Is Justice for sale here?

He is an elderly man who has spent most of his productive life in Zambia; but became a victim of greedy, police corruption and deadly business competition.

His woes began in 1985 when he was a youthful businessman but up to now when he is well advanced in age, he is still fighting this war.

In the late 1970s and early 80s, Ismail built a trading business which among other things involved supplying food stuffs in police camps.

It was booming and growing.

 But this ignited the anger of his competitors.

He fell out with one particularly corrupt businessman also of Asian origin.

The corrupt businessman runs a biscuit industry and is well known among the Asian community living in Zambia for his bad business ethics and conduct. He is corrupt and keeps his business empire using corruption.

 This involves bribing police officers, lawyers for his rivals and even judges. He openly boasts that there is nothing anyone in Zambia can do to him.

This is the man who, in 1985, waged a silent war against Ismail.

Ismail didn’t know what was coming as he never suspected that he had offended anyone.

He was shocked one day when he was ordered to leave the country by the then United National Independence Party (UNIP) government.


He was told that he was a threat to the country and therefore could not stay in Zambia.

It was only sometime later and while he was out of the country that Ismail discovered that his deportation was orchestrated by the corrupt businessman working together or though financing high police command and some members of his family.

He took his case to the United Nations (UN). The Zambian government was forced to revoke the deportation order and Ismail returned to Zambia and thought he could resume his businesses.

The moment Ismail landed in Zambia, the corrupt businessman unleashed a former Inspector General of Police to go and ask him what he was doing in Zambia.

Ismail this time decided to seek the intervention of former president Kenneth Kaunda. At Kaunda’s direction, Ismail enjoyed some peace for a while.

But Kaunda lost elections in 1991.

In 1996, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officer s picked up Ismail and proceeded to search his houses and all the people close to him.

They found nothing in the search except a letter from the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) asking for donations.

His lawyer then was late president Levy Mwanawasa.

But for some reason, Ismail was deported to the United Kingdom.

He didn’t give up. He went to court again and he won the case in the Zambian court.

The legal battle was won but the war was far from being over.

Ismail was shocked to discover that it was actually his wife who reported him to the DEC. He also discovered that one of the people he refused to lend money was behind his deportation schemes.

“Now as I was coming back to Zambia I found out that my wife was the one who reported me to DEC and she started grabbing all the properties and one of them is a house on Benda road,” explains Ismail.

He also says his wife and her brother brought another charge of motor theft against him yet the car was in his name. He complains that the police never listened to him though he had all the required documents.

He was detained.

According to him, his other cars a Benz and BMW remained in the hands of his wife’s family while he was in police custody. He complains that the case was dragging on and on and in the process, ownership of cars was changed.

Ismail says he reported this matter to police but up to now he is still fighting to retain his vehicles.

“As the court case is going on my former wife goes to my father and asks him to pay her UK pound 60,000.00 so that she can ask her brother to drop the case.  So my father paid her the money and she never dropped the case but she came to give evidence against me,” narrates Ismail.

Ismail says that despite all this, in the end he won the case of motor vehicle theft.

But Ismail complains that he was unable to start the process to get back his house along Benda road because of threats on his life. He had to leave the country and up to now is still outside the country for fear of being killed.

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