Zambian police have arrested and charged the former first lady, Esther Lungu, along with four others on allegations of theft.
Danny Mwale, deputy police spokesperson, said Esther was jointly charged with James Phiri, 49, Lee Chisulo, 31, Kapambwe Lungu, 42 and Catherine Banda, 30, on three counts of charge of theft of a motor vehicle and one count of theft of a certificate of ownership. Esther was also separately charged with possession of property suspected of being the proceeds of crime.
“All suspects are currently in police custody”, Mwale told the press on Wednesday. Before Mwale’s statement, Esther presented herself at a local police station. She was accompanied by members of the Patriotic Front (PF), the party her husband led before announcing his retirement from political life in 2021.
For Raphael Nakacinda, spokesperson for the PF, the current Zambian president Hakainde Hichilemaa is trying to distract citizens’ attention from the current economic difficulties affecting the country. Brian Mundubile, an opposition leader in Parliament, described the series of events as “frivolous”. Esther, 66, is the wife of former President Edgar Lungu, who led the southern African country from 2015 to 2021.