Power and Politics

Ex-president Lungu denies having properties or investments in Eswatini


Former President Edgar Lungu has denied allegations that he owns investments or properties in Eswatini.

A report from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) titled: “Swazi Secrets-a glimpse inside the tiny Kingdom” unearthed properties allegedly belonging to Lungu.

Following the report, the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Charles Milupi, was quoted in one of the local tabloids challenging Lungu to explain the source of the money for his investment or properties in Eswatini.

The former president in a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday, however, said a casual read of the ICIJ report shows that the report was based on unverified information, innuendos and in many cases, utter lies.

“The report, inter alia, alleges that I own a luxurious property in Eswatini. The truth of the matter, however, is that I own no property in Eswatini,” Lungu said.

He explained that during his official visit to Eswatini as Head of State in 2018, the King – His Majesty Mswati III – during exchange of gifts, offered him a plot on which he proposed that a house should be built.

Lungu said the empty plot was in a gated golf estate and architectural drawings of the proposed house were prepared.

“I was extremely grateful for the offer from His Majesty, King Mswati III, but I chose not to take it up particularly after the hullabaloo in Zambia, alleging that the gift was not declared,” he stated.

Lungu stated this was not a new allegation as it had been popping up occassionally, especially from malicious people whose fervent desire was to paint him black.

He said he had opted to remain silent all this time out of deep respect for His Majesty, King Mswati III who made that offer in very good faith.

“I have now been compelled to respond because I didn’t expect a senior minister in government to throw such a challenge at me when the government–using the state machinery–can easily establish the truth of the matter,” Lungu said.

He added that he was not surprised, however, because government had allegedly gone to great lengths in throwing all manner of baseless accusations at him.

Read More: Police detain Edgar Lungu-led PF Secretary-General, Nakacinda, at Kabwata station

Lungu said similarly, the attack on the Zambian businessman who had settled in Eswatini for decades and had made the Kingdom his home, was clearly malicious.

“The Zambian government offers business opportunities and construction jobs to many international companies from different nations such as China, Turkey, Japan, South Africans, to name but a few,” he stated.

Lungu said Inyatsi company which was associated with Michelo Shakantu had enjoyed doing business in Zambia even before he became President.

“His company, to my knowledge, has had footprint of business since the days of President Levy Mwanawasa to date,” he stated

Lungu said it was and mischievious to suggest or portray that Shakantu conducted business with the Zambian government only during my tenure as President.

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