THE Anti-Corruption Commission has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss a matter where incarcerated Henry Kapoko’s former lover is seeking a release of various items which were seized from her by ACC in 2009.
The commission wants the said matter dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
According to the affidavit in support of summons for an order to strike out the petition and dismiss the matter for want of jurisdiction, ACC senior legal and prosecutions officer Malama Mushenge-Siamoondo argued that the ConCourt lacked the jurisdiction to handle the matter.
“That the petition filed into court on June 29, 2020 is improperly before this honourable court and on that basis should be struck out and the matter consequently dismissed,” she stated.
Siamoondo stated that on August 20, 2021, ACC made a viva voce application to strike out the petition and dismiss the matter for want of jurisdiction but the court made orders for directions.
She added that the application herein was ordered to be formally filed into court by August 27, 2021 and in compliance to which the application has been made.
And in its list of authorities and skeleton arguments, ACC stated that a perusal of the petition revealed that the petitioner Rudo Chitengo, alleges a violation of her right to property under Article 16 of the Bill of Rights whose enforcement falls under the jurisdiction of the High Court as envisaged by article 28 of the Bill of Rights.
The commission argued that the jurisdiction aspect of the matter affects the petition and indeed the entire matter; therefore the action must fail on the grounds of want of jurisdiction.
“It is our submission that article 128 of the constitution of Zambia amendment act no. 2 of 2016 and section 8 of the constitutional court act absolve this honourable court from having jurisdiction relating to any alleged violation of the bill of rights. The import of the above provisions is that any allegation relating to the violation of the bill of rights is a preserve of the High Court of Zambia and not this honourable court,” the arguments read.
“My Lord, it is our submission that the jurisdiction aspect of this matter affects the petition and indeed the entire matter, therefore this action must fail on the ground of want of jurisdiction. In the premises, it is our further submission that since this honourable court has no jurisdiction to enforce the petitioner’s alleged violation of their right to property, the petition should be struck out and the action dismissed for want of jurisdiction.”
In this matter, Rudo Chitengo who has cited the ACC as the respondent is seeking the return of seized properties which include, among others, a flat, two bank accounts and various denominations of cash that were held at her house.
Chitengo is praying that the notice of seizure dated December 8, 2017 be declared null and void and a declaration that the assets, goods, items and money listed in the notice of seizure belong to her.
She is further seeking an order for damages for deprivation of the use of the assets, goods, items and money which is the subject of the notice of seizure dated December 8, 2017 from the year 2009 and another order compelling ACC to release and surrender to her, for her use and possession, all the assets, goods, items and money under the seizure.
“By an act of the respondent, the petitioner’s assets, goods, items and money listed below were seized and deprived from the petitioner from the year 2009 to date without justifiable cause: Flat 27 Zambia National building society complex, Musonda ngosa road, Villa Elizabeth, Lusaka; Government of the Republic of Zambia Bonds valued at K368,324.65 account no. 0599502000216 and account no. 0211201001817 with K24,000 as at April 27, 2009 held at inter Market Banking corporation limited Lusaka; 2,000 Airtel Zambia Plc Shares valued at K48,000 as at June 6, 2014 and 375,000 Zanaco Plc Shares valued at K112,500 as at June 6, 2014 held at Inter Market Securities limited,” she stated.
“K99,972.53 in account no. 015011086900 maintained by the petitioner at standard chartered, Lusaka, main branch in the city and province of Lusaka; Monies confiscated from flat 27 Zambia National building society complex Musonda Ngosa road Villa Elizabeth being: 23×100 US dollars notes amounting to USD2,300.00; 100×200 South African rands notes ZAR20,000: 14×100 ZAR1400; 2×50 ZAR100; 3×20 ZAR 60; 2×10 ZAR20; 345X50 Kwacha notes amounting to K17,250; K4,251.55 and K1,000 enveloped at the time. Other personal belongings seized from the petitioner from flat 27 Zambia National building society. The foregoing properties belong to the petitioner and were seized by the respondent as per seizure notice.”
Chitengu further stated that due to the illegal seizure and retention of the assets, she has suffered damages, loss, and loss of the use of her properties