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Joseph Banda

A LONDON High Court has ordered former president Frederick Chiluba’s tailors to repay the Zambian Government more than US$900,000 received from the Zamtrop account.

Attorney-General Mumba Malila yesterday confirmed that Boutique Basile had been ordered to repay Zambia $919,782.

“As Government, we are happy with the judgement, especially that it involves a foreign company,” Mr Malila said.

Mr Basile is a tailor based in Geneva who used to supply Dr Chiluba with Italian designer clothes and shoes.

He supplied Dr Chiluba with 206 suits made of the finest cloth, 64 pairs of hand-made shoes, 185 designer shirts as well as many silk pyjamas and dressing gowns.

Zambia’s second secretary for Press in London, Rejoice Lukumba said in a statement that the court ruled that Mr Basile should pay the Zambian Government $919,782 plus interest of $446,189 and 210,000 pounds as costs for money that he received from the Zamtrop account.

He said Mr Basile admitted forging invoices and having received money from former intelligence chief Xavier Chungu on behalf of Dr Chiluba for goods that were not delivered.

The evidence in court showed that more than $750,000 was paid into Mr Basile’s private account in Geneva and was withdrawn and that the same account had not been used from the time Dr Chiluba and Mr Chungu left office.

Mr Basile wept on several occasions when the extent of his wrongful dealings involving Government money and the effect of his dealings on the Zambian people were revealed.

The judgement marks another success in Zambia’s continued fight against corruption and followed a recent success in the International Court of Arbitration when Zambia successfully defended a claim of $160 million brought by the company that operated Kwachamania.

Copyright © 2008 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved.