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THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has submitted that the State does not need to prosecute and prove former First Lady Esther Lungu guilty in a matter the DPP is seeking to seize her properties through the non-conviction forfeiture.

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The State through the DPP has submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Court that there is no need for prior conviction against the former first lady for her 15 double storey flats to be declared tainted property.

“That the interested party has not exhibited the movement of money from her husband to her account or to the contractor’s account to substantiate her claim that he built the properties and further, there was need for the interested party to demonstrate to the court how and where her husband obtained the money to develop the subject real estate,” Emmanuel Khondowe, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) investigative officer submitted.

This is according to an affidavit in reply to affidavit in opposition to notice of motion filed before the Economic and Financial Crimes Division-High Court in Lusaka. 

Ms Lungu in her affidavit in opposition to the seizure of her properties via non-conviction forfeiture to the State of her properties contended that the DPP, Gilbert Phiri, was in breach of the constitution by attempting to forfeit to the State her properties without any prosecution to prove her guilty.

Ms Lungu admitted to owing the properties no.9334/1,9334/2 and 9334/4 Lusaka but denied that they were tainted and acquired from proceeds of crime.

She added that the properties are in fact matrimonial properties and that they were developed by her husband, former Republican President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

But the DPP in an affidavit sworn by DEC senior investigations officer Khondowe, insisted that the said properties were proceeds of crime because an analysis of Ms Lungu’s income reveals that she lacks capacity to possess the properties. 

“I contend that despite a person not being charged with an offence, an application can be made against the property as it is the property that is in contravention of the law.  The offence of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime is not predicated on proof of the commission of a serious or foreign offence,” Mr Khondowe stated.

He submitted that his investigations at Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) revealed there was no registered tax returns either in the name of Ms Lungu or the non-governmental organisations or any entity associated with her.

He also said Ms Lungu never accrued any allowances on her foreign trips, neither did she provide proof of payment of the said allowances to support her allegation. Mr Khondowe said the former first lady’s claim that the properties were developed by her husband was not enough to prove that they were legitimately acquired. 

He contended that the burden of proof rested on Ms Lungu to prove the legitimate acquisition of the properties.

The DPP denied breaching her constitutional rights and said there was nothing unconstitutional necessitating reference



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