Esther Lungu built 15 double-storey flats at a cost of K24 million against her known income of K3 million


DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions Gilbert Phiri has filed a notice of motion seeking a court order to forfeit several properties belonging to former First Lady Esther Lungu and three others members of the former first family to the State.

In the court documents, the State has submitted that the properties, among them 15 flats belonging to Mrs Lungu, should be forfeited the State because they are tainted and a reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

This is according to four originating notices of motion for an application of a non conviction-based forfeiture order of tainted property filed by Mr Phiri.

Before being appointed DPP, Mr Phiri, then Anti Corruption Commission director general, had vowed that “We are going to get back what has been stolen from the Zambian people”.

In line with the pledge, Mr Phiri, wants the court to grant him an order to forfeit 15 flats belonging to Lungu’s wife Esther.

The State further wants a forfeiture of a farm in Sinda in Eastern Province belonging former President Edgar Lungu’s daughter Tasila Lungu-Mwansa, who is also Chawama lawmaker.

Further the State wants Crest Lodge in Ibex Hill belonging to Charles Phiri to be forfeited and three flats and a poultry belonging to Chiyeso Lungu, a lawyer.

The lawsuit is pursuant to Order 30 Rules 15 and 17 of the High Court Rules as read with Sections 29 and 31 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act 19 of 2010, a legal provision was was used on journalist Faith Musonda.

According to a court document sworn by Emmanuel Khondowe, a senior investigations officer at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) under the anti-money laundering investigations unit, he submits that in May 2022, DEC received information from a reliable source that politically exposed persons had illegally obtained property.

Mr Khondowe said information was that property 9334/1, 9334/2, 9334/3 and 9334/4 in State Lodge and belonging to Mrs Lungu and were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

The said properties were acquired between 2013 and 2021.

Mr Khondowe submits that later led a team of DEC officers who instituted investigate which

revealed that the 15 flats belonged to Esther Nyawa Tembo Lungu and the same was confirmed in the lands and deeds register.

“I wrote to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development requesting for the the estimated cost of construction of the 15 blocks of double storey flats and it was revealed that the cost of the flats and other associated works on the properties, as at November 2022 was K41, 586, 110. 66, ” Mr Khondowe submits.

He states that investigations also extended to Mrs Lungu’s financial status quo to establish her capacity of owing the properties in question and found that she never had other income generating activities.

“I conducted an analysis of her known income and known expenditure for the period August 1, 2012 to August 16, 2022 which revealed an income of K3, 104, 487.14 against an expenditure of K2, 511, 117.09 with a variation of K593, 370.05,” he said.

Mr Khondowe said a comparison of the known income of K3, 104, 487.14 against the four properties with the 15 flats valued at K24, 256, 434.55 which showed a variation of K21, 151, 947.41 above her known income.

In relation to Mr Phiri, he submits that nvestigations revealed that the three storey lodge in Ibex Hill was bought between 2013 and 2022, belonged to Charles Phiri.

“Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources official Andrea Chuni stated that the property at entry no.1 was a 99 year State lease to former ZAF commander Eric Mwaba Chinese, who obtained the title under certificate title no. 286342 on entry no.2 of the lands and deeds register.

“He had a kwacha and dollar account at FNB and there were debit entries worth K874,653.11 and credit entries worth K875, 155.54 as debit and credit turnover between July2, 2015 and January 3, 2023,” he submits.

Mr Khondowe said that he established that Mr. Phiri sold 10, 892.3890 hectors of property no. F/Mpika/1912933 at US$100,000.00 to Muneer Mitha and Mitha Ibrahim Hanif Mohammed and paid K87, 250 property transfer tax.

He said he established that there was a huge difference between Mr Phiri’s properties and his known income and he could not manage to build Crest lodge.

In other submissions, the investigator submits that Beston Kajoba, a Finance director at Lusaka City Council, indicated that Mrs Mwansa attended 35 meetings during the time she was a councillor between 2016 and 2021

She was paid sitting allowances at a rate of K350 per sitting and transport refunds were paid at K60 within the radius of 25 Kilometers.

“For the 35 meetings Tasila amassed allowances cumulative to K12, 550. 00 and K2, 100 for transport refund. She was entitled to a monthly allowance of K3, 000 and the total allowances paid to her from 2016 to 2021 amounted to K154, 200,” the document reads.

Mr Khondowe said an analysis of Mrs Mwansa’s known income and expenditure between June 11, 2015 and August 31, 2021 showed that she had K867, 800.08 income and against an expenditure of K502, 833.67, with a variation of about K364,966.41.

He submitted that a comparison of her income against the property valued at K8, 840, 098.00 showed a variation of about K7, 972, 297. 92 above her known income.

“There was a big gap between her known income and what she declared,” Khondowe said.

In relation to Chiyeso Lungu, it was established that he has two farms in State Lodge with a high-cost house and three flats, among others assets.

Mr Khondowe submits that a survey by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development valued the cost of construction of the three flats was K2, 695, 895.28 and the one high cost house with four chicken runs was K6, 679, 544.34.

He said investigations at Patents and Companies Registration Agency revealed that she is a director and shareholder in Crest Lodge.

“An analysis of her known income between January 2, 2015 and June 3, 2023 was K2, 143, 184.41 against an expenditure of K2, 138, 920.00 with a variation of K4, 264.13.

” A comparison of the known income and against the two properties, valued at K9, 375, 438.62, showed a variation of K7, 232, 254.49 above Chiyeso’s known income and she had no other income generating activities,” Mr Khondowe submits,” Mr Khondowe submits.

He submits that the properties in question were seized on grounds of being reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime and tainted and liable for forfeiture to the State because they are proceeds of crime.



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