RETIRED Zambia Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Eric Chimese, wife Sharon Gray Chimese and Chita Lodges managing director James Chungu yesterday appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to seven counts of abuse of authority of office and money laundering.
Lt Gen Chimese, 50 a pilot is facing four counts of abuse of authority of office and three counts of money laundering.
Lt Gen Chimese is in the fifth count of money laundering jointly charged with Chungu, 51.
The retired ZAF commander is further jointly charged with his wife Sharon aged 45 in the seventh and last count of money laundering.
Allegations in the first, second, third and fourth are that Lt Gen Chimese between June 2015 and June 2018 at Lusaka being a public officer at the time, namely ZAF commander, in abuse of authority of office engaged Jack Mwape a casual daily employee of ZAF, a public body to install tiles on his private property situated at farm no. 4301/31 in Eureka area and at Plot no. 2303 /Q in Ibex Hill, an arbitrary act which was prejudicial to the interest of the Republic of Zambia.
And during the same period, Lt Gen Chimese also engaged Katema Chuulu to install tiles at his properties in Ibex Hill and Eureka area.
In count five, it is alleged that Lt Gen Chimese and Chungu between January 2012 and February 2019 at Lusaka jointly and whilst acting together concealed and disguised the rights with respect to ownership of nine flats, one single storey building, one guest wing and one semidetached cottage situated on Farm no. 2303 /Q in Ibex Hill, knowing or having knowledge to believe that the said properties were proceeds of crime.
Lt Gen Chimese in count six is alleged to have between January 2012 and February 2019 at Lusaka possessed nine flats, one single storey building, one guest wing and one semi-detached cottage situated on Farm no. 2303 /Q in Ibex Hill, knowing or having knowledge to believe that the said properties were proceeds of crime.
And in the seventh count, Lt Gen Chimese and Sharon are alleged to have between January 2012 and February 2019 at Chilanga jointly and whilst acting together, possessed two houses situated on Farm no. 4301/31 Eureka area knowing or having knowledge to believe that the said property was proceeds of crime.
Taking plea before magistrate Nsunge Chanda after the prosecution team comprising deputy chief State advocate Gamaliel Zimba and principal State advocate Gracilia Mulenga presented the consent to prosecute the matter from the Director of Public Prosecutions, the trio pleaded not guilty.
And magistrate Chanda has set April 12 for mention while trial would commence on May 3.
The accused are represented by Kelvin Bwalya, Mark Haimbe and Kebby Wishimanga.