Zambia won't appeal dismissal of Chiluba graft ruling

19th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Zambia will not contest the dismissal of a court bid to compel former president Frederick Chiluba to repay the government after a British court found him guilty of corruption, an official said Thursday.

"No, we are not going to appeal, we want to move on as government and continue with our developmental programmes," chief government spokesman Ronnie Shikapwasha told AFP.

On Friday last week, Judge Evans Hamaundu ruled that a 2007 civil court ruling in London that found Chiluba and his associates guilty of stealing 46 million dollars (36 million euros) in public funds during his term as president could not be registered in Zambia.

Critics of President Rupiah Banda, including main opposition leader Michael Sata, have accused the presidency of meddling in Chiluba's case to protect the former trade unionist who ruled Zambia between 1991 and 2002.

The British court said Chiluba defrauded the Zambian government of 46 million dollars and ruled that he should be denied access to his pension at Barclays Bank.

But the Zambian government has not been able to enforce the ruling, which would allow it to seize Chiluba's assets.

Chiluba and seven associates who were also found guilty argued the judgment could not be enforced in Zambia, a former British colony that gained independence in 1964.

In 2008, a Zambian court acquitted Chiluba of stealing 500,000 dollars from the state.

© 2010 AFP

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