State seizes Thandiwe’s properties-Times of Zambia

THE State has seized properties worth billions of Kwacha, including a hotel in neighbouring Malawi and some apartments in Tanzania allegedly belonging to former first lady Thandiwe Banda.

This comes in the wake of the on-going probe into suspected plunder of national resources by some former leaders in the MMD administration.

Sources told the Times of Zambia in Lusaka yesterday that the luxurious apartments linked to Mpundu Trust Limited in Lusaka and other properties within the country were also lined up for seizure from the embattled first family which has been under investigations over allegations of acquisition of property using public funds.

Impeccable sources said investigative wings had seized a hotel in Malawi and some flats in Tanzania allegedly linked to Mrs Banda.

“The Mpundu Trust flats in Lusaka have also been seized. This is part of the on-going investigations into suspicions that the former first family could have acquired property using public funds.

“The probe on allegations of using public funds to acquire personal properties by the former first family has intensified. And it’s not only them that are being investigated. Anyone who is suspected to be involved in corruption will be investigated,” the sources said.

They said if it was proved that the properties were properly acquired after the investigations, they would be handed back to the owners.

“But if the opposite is discovered, then the law will take its course against the culprits.”

The source said the Government investigative wings were working in liaison with authorities in the host governments for properties suspected to have been plundered and were outside Zambia’s jurisdiction.

Inspector General of Police, Martin Malama remained mute on the matter.

Former president, Rupiah Banda’s administrative secretary, Mikatazo Wakumelo expressed ignorance over the development.

President Michael Sata recently instructed law enforcement agencies to investigate how a private bank account belonging to Mpundu Trust Limited held a colossal sum of US$ 1 million.

The president gave the directive in the wake of revelations that Mpundu Trust had unexplained funds in one of the commercial banks in the country.

On the basis of the colossal amounts involved, the president felt that it would only be fair and prudent for the Drug Enforcement Commission, in liaison with other law enforcement agencies, to investigate the matter.

Recent media reports revealed that Mpundu Trust was linked to the former president, Mr Banda.

Mr Sata said the decision to probe Mpundu Trust Limited was without malice or ill-motive but to simply set the record straight.

He said the action was in line with the promise the Patriotic Front made to the people that accountability, transparency and fairness before the law would be the bedrock of his administration.

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