By CHINTU MALAMBO
KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu has charged that KCM board chairperson Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan has undermined his authority by appointing lawyers purportedly for the mining firm and as such the acts amount to contempt of court.
And Mr. Lungu says the affidavit in opposition sworn by Mutembo Nchito has failed to address the fact that his firm (Nchito and Nchito) is conflicted in the matter because it represented Barclays Bank in a different case between the bank and KCM before another court.
Mr. Lungu says by appointing lawyers in the name of KCM and filing documents in that regard, Mr Venkatakrishnan had clearly disregarded the ex-parte order by the court giving him powers to carry on the business of KCM as the provisional liquidator.
He was, through his lawyer Bonaventure Mutale, responding to a notice filed by Messrs Nchito and Nchito on behalf of Mr Venkatakrishnan asking the court whether liquidation of KCM can be done without being heard through lawyers of its choice.
In an affidavit in reply, Mr. Mutale, on behalf of Mr. Lungu, said Mr Venkatakrishnan was not a party to the proceedings and he could therefore not use KCM’s name outside the provisional liquidator.
“As such, by filing process herein on his instructions and purportedly in the name of the respondents, he is attempting to undermine, discharge or set aside the ex-parte order of May 31 (2019), which empowers the Liquidator to appoint advocates and vests all property whatsoever of the respondents in the said liquidation.
“We submit that this conduct boarders on contempt of court as it is a clear disregard of the subsisting order,” Mr Mutale said.
He asked the court not to entertain the motion by Messrs Nchito and Nchito on whether law firms appointed by a provisional liquidator can appear on behalf of the respondent (KCM) to support or oppose the appointment of the provisional liquidator and the winding up of the petition generally.
He said this was because the affidavit in opposition sworn by Mutembo Nchito has failed to address the fact that the firm (Nchito and Nchito) was conflicted.
Mr Lungu said the former Director of Public Prosecutions has failed to prove that his law firm was not conflicted as the only response by the said firm was that it no longer acts for Barclays Bank.
In a different matter between Barclays Bank and KCM before another court, Messrs Nchito and Nchito was representing the bank.