Lusaka based lawyer Lewis Mosho has asked for Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja’s intervention after his law firm caused an illegal arrest and detention of nine Chinese.
According to a government report, Mosho’s law firm, Lewis Nathan Advocates is reported to have carried out an illegal operation involving the arrest and detention of nine Chinese at Lusaka’s Chelstone Police Station using a wrong court order.
According to a report submitted to Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga by a team comprising a senior police officer and two immigration officers, Lewis Nathan Advocates colluded with some police officers to carry out the operation on April 21, 2020.
The report explains that the officers who carried out the arrest and detention acted against police ethics.
The detained Chinese were Yang Tuan, passport number G5 1171739; Qiao Hongxiang, passport number EA6090952; Wang Zhen, passport number 0010907668; Zhu Hullin, passport number E67446678; and Zhang Miao, passport number EC1018952.
Others were Zhang Chuncui, passport number EE3298803, He Zhihong, passport number EG1566372, and Wang Xu Xunxie whose passport is before court.
It further explains that the consent order Mosho obtained from the Kabwe High Court in a civil matter between Youjun Zhuang and Wang Qinghai on one part, and Kingphar Company Zambia Limited on the other, did not direct police to arrest any of the two parties.
But in a two-page letter authored by Lewis Nathan Advocates on his behalf, the police command was being asked to help ‘clear’ members of staff at Kingphar Company.
The letter has also been copied to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Commissioner – Drug Enforcement Commission.
“Dear Sir, KINGPHAR COMPANY ZAMBIA LIMITED AND THE CHELSTONE POLICE EXPERIENCE. We act for Lewis Chisanga Mosho, the Business Rescue Administrator (the ‘BRA’) (our ‘Client’) appointed by the High Court for Zambia to take control and management of the above named company (herein ‘Kingphar’ or ‘company’) for purposes of transforming the said company into a viable entity and make it able to pay off its creditors,” the letter reads in part.
“Creditors include public funds such as the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ). Kindly note our interest. The Order of Court making the appointment aforesaid (the Consent Order as signed and issued by the High Court to this effect) is enclosed for your ease of reference…Sir we request your good office to intervene in this matter and assist our Client to perform his duties as ordered by Court. WE request that the Police Service assists in the clearance of the members of staff of the company before our Client engages with stakeholders.”
The letter states that the police officers used to detain the Chinese were the same ones used in the closure and subsequent liquidation of Post Newspapers Limited.
It introduces Mosho as “an Officer of the High Court and reports to the High Court only.”
The letter states that Mosho had been appointed to investigate the affairs of Kingphar to establish a business case for viability and continuity.
“Your office would recall that these police officers that accompanied Mr Lukwesa have been working with our Client in the past on the recovery of various assets relating to the Post Newspapers Ltd (in liquidation) and the said officers have been very helpful. The request to accompany Mr Lukwesa was made in emergency at night for which it was difficult for pour Client to formally write to your office as before,” the letter states further. “In order to clean up the company before inviting stakeholders to work with and help transform the company as required our Client sought the assistance of some policers (Inspector Andrew Matabishi, Chief Inspector Kajinga, Constable Nkowani and two others) to accompany Mr. Brian Lukwesa (the Operations Consultant of the Company appointed by our Client) to any nearest police station so that the said directors and officers be interviewed and cleared by, to start with, the Zambia Police Service and other relevant security wings including the Drug Enforcement Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission and Immigration Department. This clearance is necessary in order to develop a clean business team that would implement the business plan required to be approved by the High Court.”
The letter further explains that Mosho could not proceed with his execution of a court order because of intervention from senior police officers.
“The managers and directors and officers of the company were left with Chelstone Police so as to obtain statements from them in the morning and in the presence of lawyers appointed by our Client. But before the lawyers arrived at the said station our Client informed us that some senior ranking officers from the Zambia Police Service suddenly arrived at the station and the Police Officers who escorted Mr Lukwesa were instead asked to submit individual reports. For this reason, our Client has not proceeded to commence his work as directed by the High Court,” the letter reads.
It alleged that the directors of Kingphar Company engaged in corrupt activities, among other vices.
The letter further stated that the consent court order Mosho obtained from the Kabwe High Court empowered him to make changes to the company’s management.
“It came to the attention of our Client that directors and officers of Kingphar have been conducting their business in a manner that calls for public interest intervention. This directors’ conduct would, if no intervention is made, jeopardise the Order of Court as no stakeholder or investor would join effort in developing and implementing any business rescue plan required to rescue the company,” the letter states. “The allegations which our client received against the directors and officers aforesaid include the following: That the loan obtained from the Development Bank of Zambia was obtained fraudulently and that the proceeds of such loan were used personally by the directors to fund other newly set up and unrelated personal businesses (and to fund the company for which the loan was obtained), a matter which may also have compromised their investment and or immigration status. That directors and officers have been corrupting public officers to obtain protection from arrest or prosecution and investigation.”
The letter has further accused the company of manufacturing uncertified health products.
“The directors and officers have been secretly manufacturing, distributing and or supplying to the public health products which, at the time of production or distribution, have not been approved and or certified by regulatory bodies and that such products may be harmful and or injurious to the unsuspecting public,” states the letter. “Production and distribution of these health risk products poses danger to not only public health but is prohibited in Zambia.”
After The Mast published contents of the government inquiry report on Tuesday, Lewis Nathan Advocates wrote to the newspaper, asking a retraction of the story.
The law firm further accused the newspaper of fabricating the story.