Former Zambia president Edgar Lungu’s home raided amid claims of vehicles theft by wife
The home of Edgar and Esther Lungu, the former president and first lady of Zambia was on May 3, 2023, raided by a battalion of law enforcement authorities from various forces in search of three motor vehicles Mrs Lungu was accused of stealing.
According to Zambian news publications, police surrounded the house located in Lusaka after Esther Chanje Phiri and her daughter, Furhana Patel, claimed Mrs Lungu had seized their three vehicles- Toyota Run-X, Toyota Allex and Mitsubishi Canter- as well as certificate for stand number S/Lusaka/SLN 003/2977 in Libala South, Water Works area.
The complainants claimed the seizure of their properties occurred between August 8 and 9, 2022.
It is claimed the former first lady seized the properties as guarantee from people who owed her money.
According to Lusaka Times, during investigations in 2022, the Toyota Run-X was found in Esther Lungu’s residence in Ibex Hills and she was summoned to appear before the police for investigations the same day.
On May 3, 2023, as police surrounded the home for a raid, a standoff initially ensued as Mr Lungu’s allies claimed he had immunity and his residences cannot be breached by law enforcement. Mwebantu reported the Patriotic Front’s lawyer, Makebi Zulu, said that police searching the property is a breach of law and the exercise was meant to humiliate the first family.
“This is an attempt to embarrass the former first family and should not be so.
Let us follow the law instead of embarrassing the State and the first family. As things stand, any breach into his premises compromises his immunity. Because they will purport to be searching in the name of the wife, when actually they are having access to his property.
So in this case, whatever the purpose of the search, they can simply say so and we will make it available to them. As things stand, it is abundantly clear that there is an attempt to circumvent his privileges as former president. Police even had the guts to say the property is not in his name. So in this case, why don’t they issue a search warrant in the name of the owner and not ECL? So we have engaged them. If at all they wanted the former first lady, she has never refused to appear before investigative wings,” said Mr Zulu according to Mwebantu.
Mr Zulu was also of the opinion that the former first family should have been notified beforehand and that it was insulting to accuse Mrs Lungu of stealing vehicles, especially small ones.
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