Former Zambia Air Force (ZAF) commander Lieutenant General Eric Chimese, his wife Sharon and a Lusaka businessman have pleaded not guilty to seven counts of abuse of authority and money laundering.
In this matter, Chimese, 50, is jointly charged with Sharon, 45 and Chita Lodge Limited managing director James Chungu also known as Jimmy Fingers.
Chimese is charged with four counts of abuse of authority and three counts of money laundering while his wife and Chungu are charged with one count of money laundering each, in which they are jointly charged with Chimese.
In count one, it is alleged that between June 2015 and June 2018, in Lusaka, Chimese being ZAF commander at the time, engaged Jack Mwape, a Casual Daily employee of ZAF, to install tiles on his private property situated on plot number 2303/Q in Ibex Hill, an arbitrary act which was prejudicial to the interests of the government of Zambia.
In count two, it is alleged that Chimese on the same dates in Chilanga district, again engaged Mwape, to install tiles on his private property situated on Farm number 4301/31 in Eureka Area.
In counts three and four, Chimese, on the same dates and as ZAF Commander at the time, engaged Katema Chuulu, a Casual Daily Employee of ZAF, to install tiles on the said properties in Ibex Hill and Eureka Area.
In count five, it is alleged that Chimese and Chungu on dates unknown but between January 2012 and February 2019 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together, concealed and disguised the rights with respect to ownership of nine flats, a single storey building, a Guest Wing and semi-detached cottage situated on Farm number 2303/Q in Ibex Hill, knowing or having reason to believe that the said properties were proceeds of crime.
In the sixth count, Chimese on the same dates in Lusaka, is alleged to have possessed nine flats, a single storey building, a guest wing and semi-detached cottage situated on the said farm, knowing that the said properties were proceeds of crime.
And in the seventh count, it is alleged that Chimese and his wife, Sharon, between January 2012 and February 2019, in Chilanga district, jointly and whilst acting together, possessed two houses situated on Farm number 4301 in Eureka Area, knowing or having reasonable belief that the said properties were proceeds of crime.
All the accused are being represented by Kelvin Bwalya Fube, Mark Haimbe and Kebby Wishimanga.
And when the matter came up for plea before magistrate Nsunge Chanda, Deputy Chief State Advocate at National Prosecutions Authority Gamaliel Zimba informed the court that consent to prosecute the matter was ready.
And when the magistrate read out the charges to the accused persons, the trio pleaded not guilty in all counts.
The court then adjourned the matter to April 12 for mention and May 3, 6 and 8 for trial.
All three accused persons are on police bond.