Nchito & Nchito Advocates have challenged the role of Messrs Makebi Zulu Advocates in the Konkola Copper Mines liquidation case.
Nchito & Nchito Advocates have further opposed the appointment of Messrs Ellis and Company, D.H Kemp & Company and Andrew Musukwa & Company by the provisional liquidator, arguing that the said lawyers cannot present an independent case in opposition to the liquidation.
Makebi Zulu Advocates is a law firm owned by PF member of parliament and Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu, who serves in the ruling Patriotic Front’s legal affairs committee together with KCM provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu who appointed the four law firms.
Nchito & Nchito Advocates is the law firm where former Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito is a partner.
Nchito & Nchito who were appointed by KCM’s Director and Board Chairperson to protect KCM’s vital interests have agued that the said four law firms, having been appointed by the provisional liquidator, cannot present an independent case in opposition to the appointment of Lungu as provisional liquidator and in the liquidation generally.
This is the matter in which ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC is seeking an order to have KCM liquidated.
In the same matter, Vedanta which is the majority shareholder in KCM has applied to join the proceedings as a second intended respondent saying if not joined, it stands to suffer great prejudice as owner of over 79 percent shares in KCM.
State Counsel Bonaventure Mutale, a lawyer from Messrs Ellis and Company, retained by the provisional liquidator on behalf of KCM, had opposed the application for joinder and asked the court to dismiss it with costs, arguing that the order being sought by Vedanta was not provided for in the Companies Winding Up Rules of 2004.
But in a Motion filed in Court on 6th June, 2019, Nchito & Nchito have submitted that the directors of KCM could in the name of the company oppose the liquidation and appointment of the provisional liquidator to protect the vital interests of KCM.
They have argued that it was illogical to expect that lawyers appointed by the provisional liquidator could oppose his appointment and present an independent case in opposition to the liquidation generally.
Nchito & Nchito have added that it would not be reasonable to ask the provisional liquidator to appoint counsel to challenge his own appointment.
Nchito & Nchito have submitted that KCM has the right to appoint lawyers of its own choice to represent it in the matter.
They have prayed that the court orders that the lawyers appointed by the provisional liquidator cannot represent KCM at the inter-parte hearing of the application for appointment of the provisional liquidator and in the liquidation proceedings, generally.
“It is our submission that Messrs Ellis and Company, Makebi Zulu Advocates, D.H Kemp and Company and Andrew Musukwa and Company, cannot play any role on behalf of the respondent at the inter-parte hearing of the application for appointment of the provisional and in the liquidation generally,” argued Nchito & Nchito.