CHINTU MALAMBO writes
THE Supreme Court has quashed a default judgment where the lower court ordered first President Kenneth Kaunda to pay $645 to Central Chambers legal firm and five others, as a legal service fee.
The Supreme court set aside the default judgment on grounds that the evidence shows that Central Chambers in 1998 undertook to represent Dr Kaunda on pro-bono basis.
The evidence was according to the United National Independence Party-UNIP’s Central Committee Meeting Minutes of February 28 and March 04, 1998.
Central Chambers and others had represented Dr Kaunda in the Misprision of Treason and citizenship and other cases in the late 1990s.
UNIP the former Zambia’s Ruling Political Party, led by first President Dr Kaunda before the country’s independence in 1964 until 1991 was the second appellant in the matter.
The Supreme Court has further ruled that the legal fees claim against Dr Kaunda was tainted with irregularity.
The court has found no evidence adduced that the bill for legal service was issued to warrant the Central Chambers claim against Dr Kaunda.
The court has thus observed that the legal fees claim by Central Chambers and others was contrary to legal Practitioners Act Chapter 30 of the Laws of Zambia and Order 50 rule two of the High Court.
The Supreme Court consequently, referred the respondents to the Legal Practioners’ Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to determine an appropriate action against them.
The court could not met out the penalty against them as they did not exculpate themselves during the legal fees claim appeal Case.
The case was presided over by five Supreme Court Judges -including Retired Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa and Deputy Chief Justice Michael Musonda.
Others were Judges Mumba Malila, Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna.
In 2013 the Lusaka High Court turned down Dr. Kaunda’s application to set aside the default judgment that compelled him to pay $645 legal service fees to Central Chambers and others.