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Ex-President Edgar Lungu’s daughter, Chiyeso, loses State Lodge property to govt


Former President Edgar Lungu’s daughter, Chiyeso, has lost her State Lodge properties worth about K9 million, after the Economic and Financial Crimes’ Court ordered for their Non-Conviction Based forfeiture of tainted property to the state.

The forfeited properties are a division of two farms with a high-cost house, four chicken runs and three flats in Lusaka’s State Lodge area, property worth K9, 375, 438.62, said to have been purchased and developed between 2013 and 2021.

The Economic and Financial Crimes’ Court opined in a judgement delivered Tuesday, that it would not create a dangerous precedent where people who obtain all manner of property or assets in illegitimate ways came to court with a defence merely pointing to their fathers as the sources of money for acquisition of the property without convincing evidence.

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

The presiding bench of Judges Vincent Siloka, Ian Mabbolobbolo and Ann Malata-Ononuju dismissed Chiyeso’s defence that she bought the properties at a cost of K3 million using money gifted to her by her parents.

Justice Ononuju said Chiyeso’s claims that she legitimately acquired the property in question required to be backed by documentation in form of payslips, bank statements, money transfer records, business records or official records, or testamentary wills and such other relevant documents.

“What is of significance in applications of this kind is that the recipient when called upon, should satisfy in Court with evidence that the property was indeed given or acquired by the benevolent father without any shadow of doubt. With an aorta of evidence by the interested party that the funds used to purchase or develop the properties were given by her parents, it would not comport with common sense and good judgement for us to hold that the subject properties are free from being tainted.

“We are not about to create a dangerous precedent where people who obtain all manner of property or assets in unscrupulous or illegitimate ways and when they are called upon to account for the same, they merely point to their fathers or indeed any other benevolent persons or benefactors as the sources of money for acquisition of the property without clear, logical, consistent, believable and convincing evidence,” Justice Ononuju said.

The Court refused to interrogate the source of the money the former president gifted to her daughter as it had already been proved that the property was tainted and was not called to defend himself.

“The applicant has quoted to us an adage that a fruit from a poisonous tree is also poisonous. While this may be true, we elect to qualify the same by stating that it may only be true to the extent that it is established for certain that the alleged poisonous fruit is indeed plucked from the poisonous tree that bore the fruit. Beyond that, the rest would be conjecture. In any event we are not, as adjudicators, entitled to pontificate or be judgmental especially on those who have not been called upon to defend themselves. Our function is to adjudicate the issues between the parties to litigation and not extraneous issues,” she said.

The court accordingly ordered that property No. 9390/M and LUSAK/LN-79093/1 be forfeited to the state to be applied as the DPP deemed fit within the confines of the law.

Chiyeso had contested the application that the properties were not tainted.

“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 runs.

She also submitted that she bought the second property at K5,638.68 through her hard earned money as a lawyer practicing at Messrs Muyatwa Legal Practitioners.

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