KK still refusing to pay lawyers who defended him in treason charges

Former President Kenneth Kaunda has appealed to the Supreme Court in a case where he was ordered to pay US$ 1, 208, 026 (about K6.6 billion) to five law firms.
A Lusaka High Court ordered Kaunda to pay the lawyers who represented him in various charges such as treason from 1998.
But Kaunda has been refusing to pay the lawyers saying they defended him for free.

This is in a matter in which Sakwiba Sikota’s central chambers, Lukona chambers, Patrick Mvunga and Associates, Lighthouse chambers and Dove chambers sued Kaunda and former justice minister Sebastian Zulu as members of UNIP for payment of professional legal services rendered in various civil and criminal cases.

The cases involved were the misprision of treason, citizenship, black mamba, so called Kabwe assassination attempt and illegal assembly and presidential election.

The law firms were demanding US$1, 208, 026 but Dr Kaunda and Mr Zulu contended that the legal representation from the lawyers were on voluntarily services.

The matter has a long history as it started by way of specially endorsed writ of summons on November 20, 1998.

A judgment in default of appearance was entered on December 8, 1998 in favour of the law firms in the sum of US1, 208, 026.25 with interest and costs.

On December 16 of the same year, Kaunda and Mr Zulu made an application for the judgment to be set aside.

The acting high court registrar on July 23, 2013 refused to set aside the default judgment obtained against Kaunda and Mr Zulu prompting the former republican president to appeal to the Supreme Court.

But Kaunda in his appeal to the Supreme Court said that he and Mr Zulu were dissatisfied with the decision of Judge Dominic Sichinga because he erred in law and fact when he held that they was no merit in their appeal.

He said the analysis of the evidence by the high court was not balanced because only that of the law firms was analyzed and not for him and Mr Zulu.

Kaunda in his affidavit in opposition to the lawyers demands stated the money they were asking for was a mere contribution by UNIP for administrative purposes.

He said that the services that they rendered were voluntary as at no time did they indicate to him or any other UNIP member that they were supposed to be paid.

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