UK to host Lap Green Networks’ Zambia lawsuit

Telecoms

A lawsuit regarding the Zambian government’s takeover of Libya’s Lap Green Networks’ majority share in Zamtel is to be heard in England, a high court in Zambia has ruled.

Lap Green Networks has sued the Zambian government over its repossession of the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) in January last year.

The Libyan company wants the court to force the Zambian government to reverse its decision to repossess Zamtel. Zambia’s current administration has accused the previous government, which ruled between 2008 to 2011, of corruption in a range of deals, including the sale of Zamtel.

Lap Green Networks bought Zamtel in 2010 for $257 million. The previous Zambian government sold Zamtel on grounds that it had failed to recapitalise the company.

The Zambian government has said it can only compensate Lap Green Networks for its investment in the company as opposed to giving it back ownership of the company.

Reports have also emerged that Libyans who worked for the Zamtel in management positions have been deported by the Zambian government.

Subsequently, Lap Green Network wants the case heard in England because it feels that its witnesses could be intimidated by Zambian government forces.
This has prompted Zambian high court Judge Albert Wood to rule that the case be heard in England because he considered it to be a neutral ground.

Human rights activist Brebner Changala has said the ruling follows the deportation of many people with cases that cannot be allowed to come back to Zambia to make their cases.