Former President Edgar Lungu paid for the purchase of the seized State Lodge property owned by his daughter, Chiyeso Lungu, at a cost of K3 million, court documents have revealed.
Chiyeso in an affidavit in opposition to the application for non-conviction based forfeiture order contended that the proceedings against her before the Economic and Financial Crimes Court, were malicious because the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was aware of her source of income used to acquire the subject properties.
“I indeed bought all that piece of land in extended 2.2268 hectares more or less being Lot no. 9390/M situated in Lusaka province at a cost of K3, 000, 000 in April 2017. On September 9, 2022 when Emmanuel Khondowe invited me for investigations at DEC, I did state that the consideration for the purchase of the first property was paid by my parents Edgar and Esther Lungu and he opted to conceal or withhold the information,” she stated.
She contended that her father was not only a former President but an accomplished legal counsel who was committed to the bar in 1981, therefore,her parents were capable of raising the K3 million.
“Throughout my childhood during which I had no income earning capacity, I have continued access to various facilities and material possessions such as quality education, clothing, paid medical care, recreation and safe and clean housing which have all been above my earning capacity, all of which has been as a result of my parents’ financial ability to support my livelihood.”
“It is not a crime for responsible parents to support their children in the manner my parents have consistently done. I had no and still have no reasonable basis to suspect or doubt my parents’ capacity to raise K3, 000, 000 which they availed me for purchasing the first property,” she said.
Chiyeso said she bought the house already developed with improvements being referred to as “high-cost house” and the four chickens.
She has also contended that she bought the second property at K5,638.68 through her hard earned money as a lawyer practicing at Messrs Muyatwa Legal Practitioners.
“Later in 2019 I applied to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental protection that I be allocated the piece of land which is in front of the first property on August 20, 2020, which I was given an invitation to treat for property no. LUSAK/LN_79093 and I would be given an offer letter upon payment of K5, 638. 68. On September 15, 2020 I paid the said amount to the Ministry of Lands and the commissioner of lands proceeded to issue me an offer letter,” she said.
She argued that the DPP can only forefeit to the State the properties in question by first finding her guilty of a criminal offence to validate the allegations that they were indeed tainted.
“The DPP brought no piece or trace of evidence pointing to either of the four elements of tainted property as such the standard required by sections 31(1) and 34 of the FPOCA has not been met as such the court is beseeched to dismiss the application with costs to the interested party,” she submitted
In June, this year, the DPP filed a notice of motion to forefeit to the State Chiyeso’s properties which he claimed was valued at more than K9 million.
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