PeP leader Sean Tembo has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking an interpretation on whether it was legal for President Edgar Lungu to have received land as a gift for his private use from King Mswati.
President Lungu recently received a plot in the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, as a gift from King Mswati, but citizens cried foul last month, accusing the Head of State of abusing his authority.
And Minister of Information and Broadcasting Dora Siliya confirmed that President Lungu owned land in the Kingdom, which was given to him by his counterpart King Mswati.
President Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda further claimed that President Lungu received the controversial piece of land in his “private capacity” as a citizen of Zambia.
According to the originating notice of motion filed in the Constitutional Court, Monday, Tembo asked for an interpretation on whether it was lawful for President Lungu to have received a gift of land for his private use from King Mswati.
“Whether or not the Republican President in his official capacity can receive a gift of land from another person without violating Section 21 (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012 and Article 92 (1) of the Republican Constitution. The meaning and scope of section 21 (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012 and Article 92 (1) of the Republican Constitution vis-à-vis the President receiving gifts,” read the notice of motion.
And in an affidavit in support of the originating summons, Tembo expressed that as an opposition political figure, he had the duty of holding the government of the day accountable for their actions so as to enhance democratic governance.
He observed that there had been intense public debate as to whether President Lungu abused his office when he received a gift of land from King Mswati.
“There has been intense public debate as to whether the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, abused his office when he received a gift of land from King Mswati. In light of the public interest in the matter, PeP, on behalf of the citizens of Zambia, seek the indulgence of this court to pronounce on the legality of receiving lad as a gift by the Republican President for his private use from another Head of State,” read the affidavit.
“There are official documents in the Kingdom of eSwatini, which indicate that the land in issue was one of about 90 plots formerly owned by a company called Inyatsi Properties Limited, which land the company had lawfully acquired from another company called Rudolph Investments Limited. It is public knowledge that Inyatsi Properties Limited has a sister company that is operating in Zambia called Inyatsi Construction Limited, which has been awarded a number of contracts by government, that include, the Ndola-Mufulira Road and Kafue-Chikankata-Mazabuka roads. This information reached the public domain and brought about rage and outcry from the citizenry who have alleged corruption and abuse of authority on the part of the Republican President.”