(By Mwaka Ndawa and Oliver Chisenga)
THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court was yesterday led to view fully furnished houses which were allegedly concealed by former Zambia Air Force commander Lieutenant General Eric Chimese and others. This is in a matter where Chimese is charged with abuse of authority of office, possessing and concealing property suspected to be proceeds of crime and money laundering.
His wife Sharon, who is jointly charged with him, is accused of concealing property suspected to be proceeds of crime and money laundering and Chita lodge director, James Chungu, is accused of money laundering. Martin Chanda, an electrician at ZAF led magistrate Nsunge Chanda, who was accompanied by the prosecutions and defense teams to view the nine fully furnished houses at farm 2303/Q in Lusaka’s Ibex Hill area.
Among the nine houses, two of them were occupied. The gate to the housing complex was spots shinny brown pavers and two elegant automated gates fitted with fancy handles. A 500 metres driveway leads visitors to the apartments painted in Bamboo colour. On the left of the driveway is another gate, leading to three houses, including one occupied by the co-accused. The interior of the houses were fitted with Flat Screen Televisions, Granite Kitchen Units and state of the art lighting system.
Each flat had a white leather couch, matching carpets and stylish dinning tables. All the bedrooms had a bed each with white bedding and matching pillows to compliment the white wall. Chief State advocate, Gamariel Zimba told the court that house number four and five had occupants. However, this did not sway magistrate Chanda from viewing the houses as they were a subject of proceedings and that her interest was to gather and asses the evidence before court.
Chanda proceeded to show the court the electrical fittings that he had installed. Among the fittings were chandeliers and down lights in all the rooms. When asked who showed him the premises, Chanda said he was led to farm number 2303/Q by a procurement officer at ZAF, lieutenant Col Dexter Maseka. The witness said he was taken to the flats to install the electrical fittings after he was asked to do so by Lieutenant Maseka though he was not paid for the services.
During his testimony on Tuesday, lieutenant Maseka denied knowing any of Chimese’s properties or where he resides.
“On January 7, 2019, I was approached by Drug Enforcement Commission officers. They wanted to inquire if I knew any properties owned by General Chinese. They tried to catch my attention because I told them that I was a mess manager at ZAF mess Chamba valley,” explained Maseka.
“I told them that I did not know because he had never shown me his place or records. I told them that I worked close with General Chinese at ZAF Chamba valley when we were constructing the banquet hall. About his property, I don’t know. We only talked about work related issues concerning the progress of the banquet hall and the challenges we were facing.”
The matter comes up on July 12, for cross-examination.