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Lap Green Networks readies for court

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 02 Jul 2012

Lap Green Networks readies for court

LAP Green Networks has presented 177 documents as part of its court case against Zambia’s government taking over the Libyan operator’s 75% shareholding in Zamtel.

The Zambian government took over the majority shares from LAP Green in January this year, after a state report alleged irregularities in the sale of the shares.

The report followed a commission of inquiry, which was set up the country’s president Michael Sata to investigate how the company was sold.

The filed bundles of documents in the Lusaka High Court included expert reports by Corpus Global Practitioner lawyer Hastings Pasi.

The documentary evidence is expected to supplement expert evidence during hearings of the judicial review.

The Libyan telecom company has asked the court for an order to quash the decision by the Zambian government to reverse the sale of the 75% in Zamtel to LAP Green Networks.

The telecom company has sued the Zambian government seeking an order to compel it (Zambian government) to reverse its action to take over the shares in Zamtel, the country’s only total solution communication service provider.

LAP Green contends that the government’s decision was unfair, illegal and that the committee set up to investigate the sale of the shares in Zamtel on which the Zambian government based its decision to reverse the shareholding was not binding and was unlawful because the said committee did not operate in accordance with the Zambian laws.

Among the documents that were filed as evidence in court is a report from the commission of inquiry into the sale of Zamtel and the contract for the design, supply, delivery, installation of the Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) optic fibre backbone transmission network between Zamtel and China’s Huawei Technologies.

Others were press cuttings and statements on the sale of the Zamtel from both local and international media, non-disclosure and utilisation agreement between the Zambia Development Agency and LAP Green Networks, prequalification application forms for Zamtel privatisation and an email from RP Capital to LAP Green Networks titled ‘SPA & SHA’ attaching draft share sale, purchase agreement and shareholders’ agreements.

The filing of the documents follows a consent order for directions to both parties issued on June 19, 2012 by the Lusaka High Court Judge Albert Wood.

The parties were ordered to file bundles of documents on or before June 29, 2012 while the skeleton arguments are supposed to be filed on or before July 6, 2012.

But Attorney General Mumba Malila has argued that “the decision by the Zambian government to compulsorily acquire 75% shareholding in Zamtel was legal and correctly done within the law.”

Malila said Lap Green’s grounds had no basis at law and that the Zambian government’s decision to acquire the shares was legal and that it met all relevant procedural requirements.

Malila further submitted that the applicant (LAP Green) had not placed before the court sufficient grounds upon which the court could inquire into the matter because it had not exhausted administrative processes for compensation under the country’s Lands Acquisition Act, the law which was used to repossess the shares.

Judge Wood has set July 16 as a date for commencement of trial.

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