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Xavier Chungu sues state, demands $500,000 for illegal detention

FORMER Zambia Security Intelligence Services (ZSIS) director general Xavier Chungu has sued the state in the Lusaka High Court demanding payment of US $500,000 as compensation for his illegal detention.

Chungu wants an order that the state pays him $150,000 seized from his account at Access Financial Services and an order for the payment of $37,050 for lost rentals.

The former director general of the Office of the President (special division) under the leadership of Zambia’s second president late Frederick Chiluba, was facing several charges of theft of public funds and assets and abuse of authority among other charges before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court in 2002.

In other charges, Chungu was jointly charged with Chiluba for theft of public funds. He was also convicted for nine months for forgery and uttering a false document.

In his statement of claim, Chungu said on January 7, 2002 and various other dates between 2002 and August 15, 2009 he was put under house arrest and also remanded in prison for a cumulative period of 34 months on allegations of theft of unspecified motor vehicles and theft by public servant.

He said each time he was detained by the Taskforce on Corruption and the case was taken to court, the state would enter a nolle prosequi and the process of arrest, charge would start afresh.

Chungu contended that he kept appearing for mention only without taking plea for three years.

The said despite him not being prosecuted successfully or at all earnest the state seized his property by way of forfeiture and forfeited his houses F/488a/27/D/2 Leopards Hill Lusaka, F/377a/1/E/1 Kabulonga road Lusaka, F/488a/8/B/2 White Woodlane, Kabulonga, LUS/208/M, lot 10752/M and LUS/20863.

Chungu said the state also seized his account at Access Financial Services Limited which had a cash balance of $150,000 which was money raised from rentals at house No.488a/8/B/2 white Woodlane, Kabulonga.

“At the time of forfeiture of the said house there was 13 months remaining on the lease period at the monthly rental of US $2,850, bringing the total of the lost rentals to US $37,050,” Chungu said.

He lamented that as a result of the state’s actions he suffered loss and damage.

Chungu said he was denied freedom for a cumulative period of 34 months, his right to property was violated by way of forfeiture without due process, loss of mesne profits and that he suffered stress and mental torture.

He said as a result of the loss and damage occasioned to him he is seeking a declaration that his detention without trial was illegal and so was the forfeiture of his properties.

Chungu wants an order that he was the rightful owner of the properties.

He is further seeking interest on all sums payable at Bank of Zambia lending rate from August 2009 to date of full and final settlement, any other reliefs the court may deem fit and costs of the action.

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