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Herbalist says former First Lady ‘grabbed’ her properties to recover her missing US$400,000

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TRIAL in a case former First Lady Esther Lungu is accused of theft of cars opened yesterday with a herbalist testifying against her.

Elizabeth Phiri tetsief how how she was picked and beaten by three armed police officers who later took her to former President Edgar Lungu’s house where Mrs Lungu demanded US$400,000 from her.

Ms Phiri said she was told that the money in question was initially given to Mr Lungu’s nice Catherine Banda who later told the Lungu’s that she gave the money to her(Ms Phiri).

In this case, Mrs Lungu, Ms Banda and there others, who include two police officers, are charged with theft of cars and money laundering involving over K1.5million.

Mrs Lungu is also accused of concealing US$400,000, money reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Other suspects are James Phiri and Lee Chisulo, both police officers, Kapambwe Lungu.

Between August 9, 2021 and September 30, 2022, the five allegedly stole a Mitsubishi canter worth K 320,000, belonging to Ms Phiri.

It is also alleged that the accused stole a Toyota Alex worth K 110,000 belonging to Furhana Patel.

Mrs Lungu and others are also accused of stealing a certificate of title relating to stand number S/LUSAKA/333/2977 situated in Libala, worth K 1,050,000 belonging to Ms Phiri.

During continued trial, Ms Phiri narrated how in 2020, she met Ms Banda who sought her herbal services so that she can find a husband and bear more children.

The herbalist said after the services were rendered at K4, 000, Ms Banda, who told her she was an orphan, became close to her and she even introduced Ms Banda to her daughter, Furhana.

“She [Ms Banda] started phoning telling me that she was at Furhana’s place in Libala,” the witness said.

Ms Phiri said sometime last year, she was picked up by plain clothed armed policemen who also beat up together with Ms Banda.

“While beating her [Ms Banda] they said they want the ‘parcel’.

“Catherine pointed at me and said she gave it [parcel] to me. They held me and started beating me and asked me to give them the parcel,” she said.

Ms Phiri said the three men put her in a van and took her to her house where they searched the rooms.

The armed men continued to demand for “the parcel” and threatened to kill her before she was detained at a police cell and later taken to Mr Lungu’s residence.

“When they took me into the house, Mrs Lungu was seated directly to the door. When I looked to the side, I saw Mr Edgar [Lungu],” she said.

She said Mr Lungu explained that she was taken to the house in connection with a missing US$40,000 he had given Mrs Lungu.

“He said ‘My wife got that money and gave it to my niece, Catherine Banda”.

Ms Phiri said she expressed ignorance about the US$400,000.

The court heard that Ms Lungu then instructed that Ms Phiri be taken back to her home because she appeared confused.

She said the following morning, Mrs Lungu phoned her and asked her to go to her house in Ibex.

Ms Phiri started off to Ibex accompanied by her daughter Furhana.

On arrival, Mrs Lungu asked Ms Banda to enlist the goods the witness bought purportedly using the US$400,000.

Ms Phiri said Mrs Lungu called the three accused men to pick her and proceed to grab the properties she bought using the US$400,000.

“They got a canter, a Runx and Alext for my child Fahana, they got the white books for the vehicle and the title deed of a property in Libala,” she narrated.

She told the court that she wa never given the US$400,000 and that the money she bought the house was given to her by Chief Mukuni of Kazungula who is her grand father.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 28th November, 2023)

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President Hakainde Hichilema to attend state funeral of late Namibian President Hage G. Geingob in Windhoek

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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema is tomorrow expected to travel to Windhoek, Namibia on to attend the State Funeral of Dr Hage G.Geingob, late President of the Republic of Namibia.

In a statement issued by acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mulambo Haimbe said the Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, 24th February 2024 at Independence Stadium with attendance anticipated from foreign Heads of State and Government alongside other invited dignitaries.

“The Burial Service will take place on Sunday, 25th February 2024 at Heroes Acre,” he said.

President Geingob, 82, passed away on 4th February 2024 in Namibia, having served as President of the Republic of Namibia from 2015 until his passing.

Mr Haimbe said President Hichilema is expected to return to Zambia immediately after his engagement.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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Munir defies dress code,named and suspended from parliamentary proceedings

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BARELY 24 hours after Speaker Nelly Mutti’s directive against traditional wear in Parliament, Lumezi Member of Parliament  Munir Zulu has defied the order, leading to his suspension from Parliament.

The speaker has since named Mr Zulu for grossly disorderly behavior, stating that he had deliberately defied the guidance given yesterday.

This was after Mr Zulu was spotted in Parliament wearing a traditional attire of the people of Luapula.

“I am sure honourable member for Lumezi knows the dress code. And yesterday Members were guided so honourable member for Lumezi is deliberately defying the order and guidance given. Under the circumstances, honourable Member for Lumezi, I will name you,” she said.

“Mr Munir Zulu I find your behaviour grossly disorderly and sending you away for today’s sitting is insufficient. I therefore in accordance with standing order 208 name you,” she said.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mutale Nalumango says those threatening to have free education removed are irresponsible and should not be trusted.

Mrs Nalumango said free education is not an area to tamper with as it has given hope to many vulnerable children.

Mrs Nalumango was responding to a concern raised by Kabwe central Member of Parliament Chrizoster Phiri Halwindi during the Vice President question session ,who expressed concern by some leaders commenting that they will remove the free education policy.

However, Mrs Nalumango said it is unbelievable and saddening to hear some leaders utter such comments.

“It is actually unbelievable that any leader in any country would stand to fight free education.You truly want children to remain on the streets? You want the girl child to marry at 14-years old because they cannot go to school? You want boys to be fluffies or junkies? Free education has given hope, or did you want to be the only ones whose children go to school so that you continue to do wrong things? Therefore, it is irresponsible for anyone to declare that,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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Speaker bars MPs from wearing Ngoni traditional headgear in Parliament.

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SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has ordered Members of Parliament not to to wear the Nc’wala traditional ceremony head gear in the house as doing so is against parliamentary rules.

All roads are leading to the Eastern Province ahead of the ceremony taking place on Saturday.

Some MPs have been caught in the excitement to the extent of putting on the head gear in Parliament before being ruled out by the speaker.

Ms Mutti advised the MPs to show their support outside the house as standing order 206 (1) (C) does not allow for the wearing head gears in the house.

“Honourable members, I have one announcement to make to effect that it was observed yesterday during the sitting of the house that some members wire the Ngoni traditional head gear. This is possibly in support of the Nc’wala traditional ceremony scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 24th, 2024.

“”I wish to however, advise the house that standing order number 206 (1) (C) of the National Assembly standing orders 2021 is instructive of attire that is permissible. The provision allows members to wear decent traditional attire such as ‘Siziba’.

“[The] Decency of attire is a question of fact and maybe viewed differently especially if worn in an incomplete manner. I therefore find that the wearing of the Ngoni traditional head gear in the house was inappropriate in accordance with standing orders. Therefore I will not permit henceforth any honorable member to continue wearing such attires in the house,” Ms Mutti said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Local Government Garry Nkombo has said the national mourning declared in respect of the passing of President of Namibia Hage Geingob will not affect celebration of the Nc’wala traditional ceremony.

He made the announcement following a concern raised by his Chitambo counterpart, Remember Mutale, through a matter of urgent public importance.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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