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State wants former First Lady Esther Lungu’s property and others forfeited

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DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions Gilbert Phiri has filed a notice of motion seeking a court order to forfeit several properties belonging to former First Lady Esther Lungu and three others members of the former first family to the State.

In the court documents, the State has submitted that the properties, among them 15 flats belonging to Mrs Lungu, should be forfeited the State because they are tainted and a reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

This is according to four originating notices of motion for an application of a non conviction-based forfeiture order of tainted property filed by Mr Phiri.

Before being appointed DPP, Mr Phiri, then Anti Corruption Commission director general, had vowed that “We are going to get back what has been stolen from the Zambian people”.

In line with the pledge, Mr Phiri, wants the court to grant him an order to forfeit 15 flats belonging to Lungu’s wife Esther.

The State further wants a forfeiture of a farm in Sinda in Eastern Province belonging former President Edgar Lungu’s daughter Tasila Lungu-Mwansa, who is also Chawama lawmaker.

Further the State wants Crest Lodge in Ibex Hill belonging to Charles Phiri to be forfeited and three flats and a poultry belonging to Chiyeso Lungu, a lawyer.

The lawsuit is pursuant to Order 30 Rules 15 and 17 of the High Court Rules as read with Sections 29 and 31 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act 19 of 2010, a legal provision was was used on journalist Faith Musonda.

According to a court document sworn by Emmanuel Khondowe, a senior investigations officer at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) under the anti-money laundering investigations unit, he submits that in May 2022, DEC received information from a reliable source that politically exposed persons had illegally obtained property.

Mr Khondowe said information was that property 9334/1, 9334/2, 9334/3 and 9334/4 in State Lodge and belonging to Mrs Lungu and were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

The said properties were acquired between 2013 and 2021.

Mr Khondowe submits that later led a team of DEC officers who instituted investigate which

revealed that the 15 flats belonged to Esther Nyawa Tembo Lungu and the same was confirmed in the lands and deeds register.

“I wrote to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development requesting for the the estimated cost of construction of the 15 blocks of double storey flats and it was revealed that the cost of the flats and other associated works on the properties, as at November 2022 was K41, 586, 110. 66, ” Mr Khondowe submits.

He states that investigations also extended to Mrs Lungu’s financial status quo to establish her capacity of owing the properties in question and found that she never had other income generating activities.

“I conducted an analysis of her known income and known expenditure for the period August 1, 2012 to August 16, 2022 which revealed an income of K3, 104, 487.14 against an expenditure of K2, 511, 117.09 with a variation of K593, 370.05,” he said.

Mr Khondowe said a comparison of the known income of K3, 104, 487.14 against the four properties with the 15 flats valued at K24, 256, 434.55 which showed a variation of K21, 151, 947.41 above her known income.

In relation to Mr Phiri, he submits that nvestigations revealed that the three storey lodge in Ibex Hill was bought between 2013 and 2022, belonged to Charles Phiri.

“Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources official Andrea Chuni stated that the property at entry no.1 was a 99 year State lease to former ZAF commander Eric Mwaba Chinese, who obtained the title under certificate title no. 286342 on entry no.2 of the lands and deeds register.

“He had a kwacha and dollar account at FNB and there were debit entries worth K874,653.11 and credit entries worth K875, 155.54 as debit and credit turnover between July2, 2015 and January 3, 2023,” he submits.

Mr Khondowe said that he established that Mr. Phiri sold 10, 892.3890 hectors of property no. F/Mpika/1912933 at US$100,000.00 to Muneer Mitha and Mitha Ibrahim Hanif Mohammed and paid K87, 250 property transfer tax.

He said he established that there was a huge difference between Mr Phiri’s properties and his known income and he could not manage to build Crest lodge.

In other submissions, the investigator submits that Beston Kajoba, a Finance director at Lusaka City Council, indicated that Mrs Mwansa attended 35 meetings during the time she was a councillor between 2016 and 2021

She was paid sitting allowances at a rate of K350 per sitting and transport refunds were paid at K60 within the radius of 25 Kilometers.

“For the 35 meetings Tasila amassed allowances cumulative to K12, 550. 00 and K2, 100 for transport refund. She was entitled to a monthly allowance of K3, 000 and the total allowances paid to her from 2016 to 2021 amounted to K154, 200,” the document reads.

Mr Khondowe said an analysis of Mrs Mwansa’s known income and expenditure between June 11, 2015 and August 31, 2021 showed that she had K867, 800.08 income and against an expenditure of K502, 833.67, with a variation of about K364,966.41.

He submitted that a comparison of her income against the property valued at K8, 840, 098.00 showed a variation of about K7, 972, 297. 92 above her known income.

“There was a big gap between her known income and what she declared,” Khondowe said.

In relation to Chiyeso Lungu, it was established that he has two farms in State Lodge with a high-cost house and three flats, among others assets.

Mr Khondowe submits that a survey by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development valued the cost of construction of the three flats was K2, 695, 895.28 and the one high cost house with four chicken runs was K6, 679, 544.34.

He said investigations at Patents and Companies Registration Agency revealed that she is a director and shareholder in Crest Lodge.

“An analysis of her known income between January 2, 2015 and June 3, 2023 was K2, 143, 184.41 against an expenditure of K2, 138, 920.00 with a variation of K4, 264.13.

” A comparison of the known income and against the two properties, valued at K9, 375, 438.62, showed a variation of K7, 232, 254.49 above Chiyeso’s known income and she had no other income generating activities,” Mr Khondowe submits,” Mr Khondowe submits.

He submits that the properties in question were seized on grounds of being reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime and tainted and liable for forfeiture to the State because they are proceeds of crime.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 21st June, 2023)

Politics

PF Secretary General Nakachinda involved in a road traffic accident 

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PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Secretary General Raphael Nakachinda has been involved in Road Traffic Accident after the vehicle he was driving was hit into by a locomotive.

This happened when Mr Nakachinda who whilst driving an Isuzu vehicle failed to give way to a locomotive hence his vehicle was hit into.

Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the incident occurred today around midnight along the Great North Road at Shikoswe railway crossing.

“Involved was Raphael Mangani Nakachinda aged 45 of house number 1794 Inkanga area of Kafue District who was driving an Isuzu registration number BAH 8695 from North to South who sustained bruised left πarm ,bruised back of the neck , bruised left ear and painful left leg, whilst the vehicle incurred a shattered front windscreen, extensively damaged right side body, rear passenger’s door and both rear lights,” he said.

He said also involved was Vincent Mabinda aged 45 of unknown house number a driver of a Goods Train from west to east direction which had no damages.

“The accident happened when Mr. Raphael Nakachinda who whilst driving an Isuzu vehicle failed to give way to a locomotive hence his vehicle was hit into by an on-coming Locomotive which had the right of way,” he said.

Mr Hamoonga said the accused has since been charged for the offence of Careless driving and his vehicle impounded at the Police station.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 2nd December, 2023)

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Politics

I am ready to risk my life to save the PF, says Edgar Lungu 

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“I AM ready for anything, including risking my own life to save the Patriotic Front (PF),” Former republican President Edgar Lungu has said.

Mr Lungu says victory is certain and that the machinations by the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) in form of ‘Imingalato’ will not stop him.

He has also noted that he is aware that the next move by the UPND is to lift his immunity, but he is ready and not worried about the outcome.

Speaking when he addressed the media on a number or issues, he said that he did not intend to get back into active politics, but he did so to ensure that PF lives on.

He noted that this was from the backdrop of the machinations from Government to steal, kill and destroy the PF in order to continue their stay in power.

“The machinations became more when those in power wanted to state a coup in PF using their stooges. They were illegally endorsed by police, followed by the National Assembly to swot democracy. This becoming more vivid when the victim who in this case is the PF is treated as a villian and a state sponsored sect is being given protection by the law,” he said.

Mr Lungu claimed that unfortunately, for those in power, it is not possible to submerge the PF in an attempt of using ‘Imingalato.’

“In this regard, I made a call to all opposition s as to defend Zambia’s hard earned democracy. I called for unity of purpose and today I am humbled for the unanimous response. Victory is certain, we shall certainly defeat those scheming against democracy,” he said.

He further claimed that he came back into politics to save the PF from being stolen of killed by the government.

“I am aware the next move is to lift my immunity from prosection. This does not worry me. It is another ploy to divert people from their failure, ” he said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)

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Politics

‘Imbwili’ jailed for hate speech

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OPPOSITION Patriotic Front (PF) member of the Central Committee and former Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili has been handed a five-month prison sentence for hate speech by Kasama Magistrate’s Court.

In this case, Kambwili, 54, of house number 9, Wisteria Avenue, Luanshya was charged with the offence of expressing hatred and ridicule of the persons based on tribe and place of origin.

Kasama Resident Magistrate Samson Mumba found Kambwili after the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.
And in mitigation, Kambwili who spoke through his lawyer told court that he was a first offender, a family man and a person who previously served the nation as a cabinet minister.

He also urged the court to take into consideration his health.

In sentencing Kambwili, Magistrate Mumba said he took into account the mitigation.
He however said he sentenced Kambwili to five months imprisonment to deter would be offenders.

Meanwhile, after judgement was passed, Kambwili’s lawyer Kaizara Tembo told journalists his client will appeal against the verdict.

“Currently we are making efforts to lodge in an application for bail pending appeal,” he said.

Kambwili has since been transported to Milima Correctional Facility in Kasama.

(Mwebantu, Thursday,  30th November, 2023)

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