ExposÉ

Exposé: Vedanta’s Local Legal Team Has Hidden Conflict of Interest

Former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito’s double standards over the liquidation of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) have been exposed, according to documents exclusively obtained by Zambia Reports.

Mutembo Nchito who, through his law firm Nchito and Nchito which he co-owns with his elder brother Nchima, was recently retained by Vedanta to oppose the Zambian government’s liquidation of KCM.

Nchito, through an application filed before High Court Judge Anne Bobo Banda, argued that Makebi Zulu Advocates cannot represent KCM because one of the partners in the law firm, Makebi Zulu, was a PF insider, being the Eastern Province Minister.

Further, Mutembo, State Counsel (SC), argued that the provisional liquidator, Mr. Milingo Lungu, was also conflicted because he was Patriotic Front (PF) Deputy Chairperson for Legal Affairs.

However, investigations have revealed that the argument by Nchito does not hold any water because he is also conflicted.

Nchito is a business partner to United Party for National Development (UPND) National Management Committee (NMC) member and Party national treasurer Watson Kasonge Lumba.

Lumba is a signatory to UPND bank accounts.

He once served as UPND Solwezi Central Member of Parliament until he was defeated by Lucky Mulusa in 2011.According to documents obtained from the office of the Registrar of Patents and Companies Agency (PACRA), Mr. Nchito co-owns the St John’s Medical Centre Limited, formerly Monica Chiumya Hospital, with Lumba.

Other directors are his elder brother Nchima, Dr. Fastone Goma, who is also the major shareholder in a Lusaka based private University the Lusaka Apex Medical University.

The PACRA document also lists Stephen Simwanza, Phillip Chisengele Chubuta and Charles Michelo as directors.

Watson Lumba is also a churchmate to Nchito at the Lusaka Central Baptist Church where Nchito is an elder.

 

Lumba, who is an Accountant by profession, also does accounts books for the Baptist Church and is also the Financial Controller for a Japanese Heavy Equipment Company Hitachi located on airport road.

A company called Rhodium Investments Limited is also a shareholder in the medical centre.

Meanwhile, the PACRA documents reveal that the medical centre owes three banks a total of K2,470,500 in unpaid debts since 2011.

The St John’s Medical Centre Limited owes Investrust, Stanbic Bank and United Bank of Africa.

One would wonder how Nchito would react if the banks put the medical centre under liquidation.

This is not the first time Nchito’s double standards have been exposed.

When he served as DPP under Michael Sata’s government, he entered a nolle prosequi in a matter of criminal charges against a financier to whom he and business partner Fred M’membe, the Socialist Party presidential candidate, owed some $4.2 million in debt.

Nchito was also earlier censured for “sharp practices” by a Supreme Court judge for wilful misrepresentation of key evidence in a case.

Without declaring interest, Nchito abused the powers of his office to settle debts from his failed business endeavours.

It is one of the charges that made private citizens call for a tribunal to have Mr. Nchito removed as DPP.

Nchito was subsequently removed as DPP.

He has since challenged his removal in the Constitutional Court.

Source: Zambia Reports

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