Verbatim of Chilembo’statement on Task Force payments

PRESS RELEASE MADE BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER, HON. TODD STEWART CHILEMBO, MP ON 15TH NOVEMBER, 2009

I WISH TO SHARE WITH THE NATION INFORMATION ON THE ISSUE OF LEGAL FEES PAID TO LAWYERS BY THE TASKFORCE BETWEEN 2003 AND 2008.

BY WAY OF PREAMBLE, I WISH TO STATE THAT THE TASKFORCE ON CORRUPTION WAS ESTABLISHED ON ADHOC BASIS TO DEAL WITH CORRUPTION CASES BETWEEN THE PERIOD 1991 TO 2001. THIS IS THE ERA FORMER PRESIDENT F. T. J. CHILUBA RULED THIS COUNTRY. I WILL ALSO SHOW COSTS AND INVESTIGATIVE FEES PAID.

A) LEGAL FEES

THE LEGAL FEES PAID COMPRISED FOREIGN LEGAL FEES PAID TO FOREIGN LAWYERS AND LOCAL LEGAL FEES PAID TO ZAMBIAN LAWYERS.

THE FEES INCLUDED PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CASES, DR. CHILUBA’S CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES AND OTHERS INCLUSIVE.  I NOW GIVE THE BREAKDOWN YEAR BY YEAR AS TABULATED BELOW:-

YEAR FOREIGN LEGAL FEES LOCAL LEGAL FEES

2003

US $76,889.25

K1,202,204,000.00

2004

US $291,548.08

US $85,280.00

2005

US $3,336,616.00

US $460,000.00

2006

US $2,767,344.00

US $900,000.00

2007

US $4,280,132.00

US $820,000.00

2008

US $408,231.94

US $95,333.33

TOTAL

US $11,160,761.27

US $2,360,613.33

Plus K1,202,204,000.00

THE TOTAL AMOUNT THEREFORE FOR BOTH FOREIGN AND LOCAL LAWYERS IN DOLLARS TERMS IS US $13,521,374.60.  THIS IN KWACHA TERMS TRASLATES TO K62,198,323,160.00

PLUS THE K1,202,204,000.00 PAID LOCALLY ALLUDED TO ABOVE GIVING A GRAND TOTAL OF K63,400,527,160.00.

HOWEVER, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THERE ARE STILL OUTSTANDING BILLS FOR 2008 AS SHOWN BELOW:-

  • FOREIGN LEGAL FEES      =       US $1,338,231.06
  • LOCAL LEGAL FEES          =          US $480,000.00

B) SECURITY FOR COSTS

CONTRARY TO THE STATEMENT MADE BY MR MAXWELL NKOLE THAT US $ 5,000,000 WAS PAID AS SECURITY FOR COSTS, THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID WAS £4,000,000

WHICH AMOUNT IN KWACHA TERMS TRANSLATES TO K32,200,000,000.00.  THIS AMOUNT HAS SINCE BEEN PAID AS LEGAL FEES AT SOURCE TO FOREIGN LAWYERS.  IT IS THEREFORE NOT TRUE THAT THIS MONEY WILL COME BACK TO THE TASK FORCE.  THE LAWYERS EXERCISED THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS OF A ‘LIEN’ ON THE MONEY.

REGARDING THE LONDON COURT JUDGMENT, WE CAN NOT COMMENT AS THE ISSUES ARE STILL PENDING BEFORE THE HIGH COURT. ONLY WHEN THE MATTERS HAVE BEEN AURGUED AND DECIDES UPON BY OUR OWN COURTS WOULD WE BE COMPETENT TO COMMENT ON.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WHEN THE PRESIDENT DISCUSSED THE MONEY SPENT ON LEGAL FEES HE WAS TALKING ABOUT LAWYERS (BOTH FOREIGN AND LOCAL) WHICH IS PLURAL, UNLIKE A LAWYER WHICH IS SINGULAR.  THEREFORE THE ATTEMPT BY POST NEWS PAPER TO SINGLE OUT A PARTICULAR LAWYER, NAMELY MUTEMBO NCHITO IS MISLEADING.

C) INVESTIGATIVE FIRM

AN INVESTIGATIVE FIRM CALLED OVAG WAS PAID

US $2,000,000 PRIOR TO THE ABOVE STATED AMOUNTS.

D) COSTS

IN THE CASE OF MEER AND DESAI THERE IS CURRENTLY A CLAIM OF £2,000,000 (US $ 3,000,000.00) BY 2ND DECEMBER, 2008 A VERDICT IS EXPECTED IN A LONDON COURT.

CONCLUSION

I AM APPEALING TO PEOPLE AND THE MEDIA TO GIVE FACTUAL INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC AND NOT TO DELIBERATELY DISTORT OR MANIPULATE INFORMATION FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH INTEREST.

HON. TODD STEWART CHILEMBO, MP

DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE

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