FREDERICK Chiluba’s children have petitioned the Lusaka High Court to reverse the Supreme Court’s order to forfeit Tedworth Properties Inc to the state saying they were not heard.
In their petition, Tedworth director Faustine Kabwe is the first petitioner while Patrice Kaindu Chiluba and Darlington Nkonde Chiluba are second and third petitioners, citing the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney General.
The petitioners want a declaration that they were not given a free and fair hearing because one of the Supreme Court judges comprising the quorum that determined the appeal did not hear Tedworth.
They are also seeking a court order restraining the ACC from disposing off or dealing with the properties or rental income from Tedworth until after hearing and determination of the petition.
In an affidavit, Kabwe stated that Patrice and Darlington joined the petition as Chiluba’s personal representatives and beneficiaries.
She stated that in 2003, the ACC issued a notice to Tedworth stating that properties were forfeited to the State but Tedworth challenged the notice of forfeiture in the High Court on grounds that it was illegal.
Kabwe further stated that although the appeal was heard by a quorum of Chief Justice Irene Mambilima, judges Royda Kaoma and Evans Hamaundu, judge Jones Chinyama; who was part of the quorum when the judgment was delivered, was not among the judges that heard the appeal.
She stated that the Supreme Court violated the principles of natural justice and the petitioners’ right to a fair hearing before an independent and impartial court.
Kabwe stated that the Supreme Court’s actions offended the basic principle of judicial procedure that “the one who decides must hear”.
“Further, the forfeiture did not arise from an order of court either under civil process or criminal proceedings, which resulted in a conviction,” read the petition in part.
Kabwe stated that only an Act by the authority of Parliament could provide for forfeiture and that such an Act must then provide for adequate compensation.