Trial in a matter where former ZAF Commander Lieutenant General Eric Chimese is jointly-charged with his wife and another with abuse of authority and money laundering yesterday failed to proceed because the former’s spouse was reportedly ill.
In this matter, Chimese, 50, is jointly-charged with his wife, Sharon Gray Chimese, 45, and Chita Lodge Limited managing director James Chungu.
Chimese is charged with abuse of authority and money laundering, whereas his wife and Chungu are only charged with money laundering.
In count one, it is alleged that between June, 2013, and June, 2018, in Lusaka, Chimese being a public officer at the time, namely ZAF commander, engaged employees of ZAF to do works 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 the second count, it is alleged that Chimese on the same dates in Chilanga District, engaged ZAF employees to do works on his private property situated on Farm number 4301/31 in Eureka area.
In another count, it is alleged that Chimese and Chungu on dates unknown, but between January, 2012, and February, 2019, in Lusaka, concealed and disguised the rights to ownership of nine flats, a single storey building, one guest wing and one semi-detached cottage situated on Farm number 2303/Q in Ibex Hill, knowing or having reason to believe that the said property were proceeds of crime.
It is also alleged that Chimese on the same dates in Lusaka, possessed nine flats, one-single storey building, one guest wing and one semi-detached cottage situated on the said farm, knowing that the said properties were proceeds of crime.
And in the last count, it is alleged that between January, 2012, and February, 2019, in Chilanga District, Chimese and his wife, Sharon, possessed two houses on Farm number 4301 in Eureka area, knowing that the said properties were processed of crime.
When the matter came up for continued trial before Magistrate Nsunge Chanda, Wednesday, defence lawyer, Wishimanga informed the Court that Chimese’s wife, Sharon, was absent in court because she was unwell and was admitted to the hospital.
He, however, asked the Court if they could proceed without her, saying she was defended and that charges of abuse of authority did not relate to her.
Magistrate Chanda said since there was a sick note before her, she didn’t need any explanation.
The State observed that it was unfortunate that Sharon was unwell and not before court, saying it was eager to proceed with six witnesses lined up.
Trial continues on July 9, 10 and 12, this year.