Power and Politics

Court set to hear case of govt’s order for former First Lady, Lungu, to forfeit 15 double story flats valued at K24 million


The Economic and Financial Crimes Court is Thursday sheduled to hear the matter in which the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, applied to have the 15 double story flats located in State Lodge belonging to the former First Lady, Esther Lungu, valued at K24 million, forfeited to the State.

The Court will proceed to hear the matter after it declined to grant an order for stay of proceedings pending appeal by the former first lady.

Read more: Ex-President Lungu’s daughter, Chiyeso, tells court how she acquired seized K3 million property

In a ruling rendered last week, the Court subpoenaed Muleya Mutakwa, ZANACO Bank, Cairo branch manager and Choolwe Chiyala ,the relationship manager of FNB Zambia PLC to produce bank statements in respect of Esther and the Esther Lungu Foundation Trust.

The matter would be heard by a three member panel of Judges; Yangailo, Ian Mabbolobbolo and Vincent Siloka.

Justice Yangailo stated that the former first lady had not demonstrated exceptional circumstances to grant the stay of proceedings as opposed to having the case concluded and arising grievances taken up on a single appeal.

“The appeal in the instant case relates,inter alia, to the question of the jurisdiction and establishment of this court,which questions were settled in the recent case of Bowman Lusambo v Attorney General and is in line with our ruling which is being impugned” she said.

The court further stated that, “the intended appeal also relates to our giving directions in instances where a matter raised relates to the preserve of the Constitutional Court, which issue was also considered and determined in the said case,”.

In the notice of motion, the DPP said the flats were seized on suspicion of having been acquired through proceeds of crimes.

The former first lady opposed the DPP contending that the State ought first prove that she acquired the said properties through criminal activities.

She said the flats were matrimonial properties built by her husband, former President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

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