The Zambia Government has won a case in which Lodestar International, a Company registered in North Carolina, USA, took the Government to court in the United Kingdom, London for corruptly awarding a Police Housing Project to China’s AVIC International and failing to reasonably perform the obligations under the contract initially awarded to Lodestar
In a press briefing, Home Affairs Minister Hon Stephen Kampyongo revealed that Lodestar International and Lodestar Zambia sued the government in 2018 on Contractual grounds.
“In 2018 Lodestar International LLC and Lodestar International Zambia Limited sued the Zambian Government in the London court of international arbitration through their Lawyers based in the United States of America, MESSRS COOLEY LLP on a Contract entered into by the parties on 4th September, 2012 for the Construction of Housing Units for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mainly the Zambia Police Service,” Kampyongo said.
According to Kanyongo, Lodestar claimed that Zambia was in breach of contract for failing to deliver as obliged under the contract and that Zambia unprocedurally awarded the contract to AVIC international to do the same works lodestar was contracted to perform.
“In the Defense the Zambian Government stared that there was no breach of contract because the conditions precedent to the fulfillment and enforcement of the Contract were not met and therefore there was no compliance with the legal requirements for the enforcement of the contract as required by Zambian law particularly, the Constitution of The Republic of Zambia and the Zambian Public ProcurementAct Number 12 of 2008 among other reasons,” Home Affairs Minister said
Hon Kampyongo said that the Arbitral Tribunal found that there was insufficient evidence to prove any corruption allegations on the part of the Zambian Government.
The tribunal went further to state that based on the evidence presented before it by Lodestar, it could not find anything amiss in the subsequent award of the contract to AVIC International for Construction of the Housing Units.
“ Following this Tremendous decision, The Tribunal ordered Lodestar International LLC to pay the Zambian Government Two Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars(US$2,700,000.00) in respect of Zambia legal and other costs and in excess of one Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand United States Dollars(US$197,000) as reimbursable expenses incurred by the Republic of Zambia for the Hearing if the Matter at the London Court of International Arbitration” said Hon Kampyongo said.
Zambian Government was represented in the London court by a team of both internal and external lawyers comprised of lawyers from MESSRS DLA Piper of the United Kingdom, the Solicitor General Mr. Abraham Mwansa, SC, Mrs Kaumbi Ndulo Mundia, Principle State Advocate and Mrs Diana Majokwe Shamabobo, Principle State Advocate of the Ministry of Justice in Zambia
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADCNews Correspondent