Editor's PickPower and Politics

Ex-President Lungu’s wife, daughter, nephew quizzed, detained over money laundering charges


Ex-President Edgar Lungu’s wife, Esther, his daughter, Chiyeso, and nephew Phiri, were on Thursday quizzed, and detained by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) over alleged money laundering charges.

The Drug Enforcement Commission headquarters were heavily fortified by security operatives, as members of the former first family arrived for the scheduled interrogations.

Read more: ‘Govt wants to break me,’ Lungu knocks DEC for lining up four family members for interrogation same day

Security was tight, with officers stationed at various points to manage the anticipated crowd and ensure order.

At precisely 12:50 hours, Esther Lungu, wife of the former president, arrived as scheduled, accompanied by her husband.

The former Head of State was escorted through a policed route, highlighting the high-profile nature of the event.

His legal team also maintained a low profile, leaving the premises privately and without announcement.

Journalists were kept at a distance from the DEC offices, creating a tense atmosphere as they waited anxiously for updates.

There was heightened anticipation as the interrogations lingered with no snippets of information from the proceedings inside.

The interrogations lasted nearly six hours. Finally, at 16:48 hours, the family was seen departing the DEC premises.

Shortly after, it was announced by Makebi Zulu, a lawyer representing the ex-president’s family, that Esther Lungu, Chiyeso, and Charles Phiri had been arrested and charged with money laundering and possession of dubiously acquired wealth.

Zulu stated that Tasila, Lungu’s other daughter, was unable to appear before DEC for questioning because she was reported to be out of the country

In confirming the charges, DEC Public Relations Officer, Allan Tamba, said: “Esther Nyawa Tembo Lungu, jointly and in conspiracy with other unidentified individuals, between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2023, in Lusaka, Zambia, is accused of owning 15 double-storey flats at Property No. CHONG_9334/1 to 4 in the State Lodge area of Chongwe District, which are suspected to be proceeds of crime.

“The construction costs are estimated at K41,586,110.66, with the property valued at K24,256,434.55. The suspect has failed to provide a reasonable explanation for acquiring these properties.”

Tamba also reported the arrests of Chiyeso Lungu and Charles Phiri for similar charges.

“Charles Phiri, in collusion with Chiyeso Lungu Katete and other unidentified persons, is charged with possessing ‘The Crest Lodge,’ a three-storey property at No. LUS/38478 off Twin Palm Road in Ibex Hill, Lusaka. The estimated construction cost as of November 2022 was K15,549,422.22, with a value of K9,069,699.87,” Tamba revealed.

Additionally, Katete faced charges for possessing properties suspected to be proceeds of crime.

“Katete, in concert with other unidentified individuals, from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2023, in Lusaka, Zambia, allegedly owns three flats at Property No. L/9390/M and/or LUSAK/LN_79093/1 in the State Lodge, Lusaka District.

The construction cost was estimated at K2,426,007.53, valued at K2,695,895.28. She also possesses a high-cost house, four chicken runs, and associated works at Property No. L/9390/M in State Lodge, Lusaka, with construction costs estimated at K7,863,688.14, valued at ZMW 6,679,543.34,” Tamba said.

He added that former President Edgar Lungu’s daughter, Tasila Lungu, has been summoned to the DEC on Monday to respond to related charges.

The arrest of former President Lungu’s family members marks a significant development in the ongoing investigations, drawing public and media scrutiny to the allegations of financial misconduct.

WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.

Key opposition leaders may face charges of ‘Inciting Tribal War’ as govt accused of selective justice

Previous article

Music producer, Chile One, arrested for allegedly swindling Catholic radio station

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *