FDD president Edith Nawakwi has submitted before the Lusaka High Court that she is not the first person to raise the issue of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s acquisition of a house on Serval Road in Lusaka’s Kabulonga area.
And Nawakwi says Hichilema may not have acted as receiver, manager or liquidator of Lima Bank Limited but Grant Thornton was actively involved in the liquidation process and disposal of assets of the said bank.
Meanwhile, Nawakwi says she conducted a search at PACRA which revealed that Hichilema is a shareholder and has interest in; African life Financial Services Zambia Limited, Sanlam Life Insurance Zambia Limited, Menel Management Services Limited, among others.
This is a matter in which Hichilema has sued Nawakwi over claims that he sold to himself a house which belonged to Lima Bank in Kabulonga during the privatization process.
Hichilema is seeking damages for libel, aggravated and exemplary damages and an order directing Nawakwi to retract the defamatory words which she caused to be broadcast and published in the course of a program entitled ‘the Hot Seat’ on August 27, 2020, in relation to his acquisition of the property known as 14/3/A/F488a, Serval Road, Kabulonga.
He also wants an order of injunction to restrain Nawakwi, her agents, servants and whomsoever from further defaming him or publishing similar defamatory words of him.
But in her defence filed in the Lusaka High Court, Nawakwi argued that she was not the first person to raise the issue of Hichilema’s acquisition of property No. Subdivision 14/3/A/F488a Serval Road in Kabulonga, Lusaka saying on May18, 2007 The Post Newspaper (in liquidation) wrote about the same in its editorial, as well as, the Times of Zambia on January 14, 2012.
She added that the details relating to the liquidation of Lima Bank Limited were supposed to be a matter of public record, hence they call for accountability and transparency.
Nawakwi stated that she conducted a search at the Lands and Deeds registry which revealed that on March 28, 1989 one Samson Siatembo mortgaged Farm no. 1924 whose area was 2,415.5580 hectares Kalomo District in Southern province to secure K10,600 from Lima Bank Limited.
She added that on September 14, 2005 Lima Bank Limited (in liquidation) caused the registration of memorandum of discharge of the mortgage relating to Farm no.1924 in Kalomo, whose area was 192.9050 hectares.
Nawakwi stated that Hichilema acquired the said farm at a consideration of K110,000,000 and that the payment of property transfer tax of K3,300,000 was certified by the registrar of Lands and Deeds on September 14, 2004.
“On September 22, 2005, the assignment of subdivision A of Farm 1924 at the consideration of K110,000,000 area 2.222.6540 hectares was registered the assignor being Feluna Hatembo (administratrix of the Estate of Samson Hatembo) and the assignee being Hakainde Sammy Hichilema. The search did not reveal any evidence of requisite authority of the court to sell the property of the deceased person,” she stated.
Nawakwi also referred to other related cases before the Livingstone District Registry of the High Court as well as the Kalomo Subordinate Court.
She further stated that she that she conducted a search at Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) which revealed that Hichilema was a shareholder and had interest in; African life Financial Services Zambia Limited, Sanlam Life Insurance Zambia limited, Menel Management Services Limited, Tiyende Consortium Limited and Benefits Consultancy Services Limited.
Nawakwi stated that on March 25, 1997 Lima Bank Limited was placed under liquidation and Messers Edgar Hamuwele and Christopher Mulenga both of Grant Thornton were appointed as joint liquidators.
“At the trial, the defendant (Nawakwi) will lead evidence at trial relating to the operation of Lima Bank Limited (in liquidation) account No.00302400006373 maintained at Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO). The plaintiff (Hichilema) may not have acted as a receiver, manager or liquidator of Lima Bank but Grant Thornton was actively involved in the liquidation process and disposal of assets of the said Bank,” she stated.
“As a citizen of Zambia, the defendant possesses the sufficiency of interest and legitimate concern relating to the plaintiff’s non disclosure of interest. The plaintiff did not disclose at the material time, has not disclosed and continues to resist disclosure.”