Power and Politics

Court throws out ex-First Lady, Esther Lungu’s application seeking to stop forfeiture of her properties


Former First Lady, Esther Lungu, has suffered a legal setback in her battle against an application to have her 15 double storey flats estimated to be valued at K24 million forfeited to the State.

This was after the Court of Appeal dismissed her application to stay forfeiture proceedings in the Economic and Financial Crimes Court pending determination of the appeal before it.

Read more: Alleged Corruption: Court halts proceedings, as former First Lady, Lungu, raises 5 grounds of objection

In her appeal, the former first lady represented by D. Findlay & Associates questioned the jurisdiction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Court to preside over the case and also the mode of commencement of the same matter by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

She argued that the appeal had prospects of success and in the interest of justice, the proceedings be suspended pending determination of the appeal.

Last July, the DPP, Gilbert Phiri, filed originating notice of motion for a Non-Conviction Based forfeiture of tainted property order of the 15 flats in State Lodge, Chongwe district, owned by Esther.

The Court of Appeal sitting as Judges: Mwiinde Siavwapa, Chalwe Mchenga and Yvonne Chembe, dismissed the application stating that the applicant (Esther) would not be prejudiced if the proceedings in the lower court were concluded before the appeal was determined.

Addressing the issue of the criminal element attached to the tainted property, the Court was of the view that the Non-Based forfeiture proceedings target the property and not the interested party.

“Without pre-empting the actual appeal, we have looked at the grounds of appeal and the issues canvassed therein. Our view is that they do no present an arguable case,’ said Judge Siavwapa.

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