By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has arrested former Zambia Air Force (ZAF) commander Lieutenant-General Eric Chimese and charged him with four offences, among them, abuse of authority of office and being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
DEC public relations officer Theresa Katongo yesterday confirmed the development to the Daily Nation that Lt.-Gen Chimese, 50, was arrested and charged with James Chungu, 51, a director of Chita Lodges Limited for concealing of property, willful giving of false information, abuse of authority of office and possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
She said in the first count, Lt Gen Chimese on dates unknown but between January 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019 with Mr. Chungu and other persons unknown, did conceal a portion of a farm in Ibex on which nine fully furnished flats, an up-stairs house, a gym, visitors quarters and a semi-detached servants quarters have been constructed purporting to show that the said properties belong to Chita Lodges Limited, a company where Mr. Chungu was a director when in fact the properties in question are owned and constructed by Lt. Gen. Chimese.
She explained that in the second count, Mr. Chungu on January 31, 2019 did willfully give false information to authorised officers by stating that the said properties where for Chita Lodges Limited when in fact not.
She explained that the said properties had been seized as the duo awaited their day in court soon.
“In count three, Lt.-Gen Chimese, abused his authority of office in his capacity as Zambia Air Force Commander by directing the deployment of some Zambia Air Force employees to do construction works at his properties.
“In count four, Lt-Gen Chimese did possess properties suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1) of the forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act.
The Commission has since seized properties which include thirteen fully furnished houses, one semi-detached house and a gym all within Lusaka.
The accused persons are on Police bond and will appear in court soon,” she said.