A State witness has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that although he never saw any documents to prove that Lieutenant General Eric Chimese owns nine flats and a double storey building in Ibex Hill, what he knows is that the properties belong to the former Zambia Air Force Commander.
Asked by the defence lawyers if he knew that Chita Lodge Limited had possessed the entire property since 2010, Pelekelo Muyunda said he wasn’t aware.
This is the matter in which Chimese is charged with abuse of authority and money laundering, whereas his wife Sharon Gray and Chita Lodge Limited managing director James Chungu are charged with money laundering.
Previously, Muyunda, who alleged that he was Lt Gen Chimese’s caretaker from 2012 to 2017, told the Court that he was first engaged with his colleagues to dig a foundation for a double story building comprising three bedrooms on the ground floor and two on the first floor, which he later came to know as the former commander’s.
He said he was later employed as a caretaker of the premises on a monthly salary of K600, adding that his duties included looking after the area and materials which were being used for the construction.
The witness testified that after the building was completed, they proceeded to construct a servant’s quarter and a gym.
Muyunda said Lt Gen Chimese later informed him and other builders that he had purchased another plot which he wanted them to go and clear.
He said nine flats were put up, adding that during the construction of the said flats, he was being supervised by Dexter Maseko from ZAF while Lt Gen Chimese used to visit the place to check on the works.
“When Major Mudala went to school, we remained with Colonel Maseka who became the supervisor of the construction works, taking over from major Mudala,” Muyunda testified.
And when the matter came up for continued trial before magistrate Nsunge Chanda, Monday, the court was moved to Ibex Hill to view the said property.
While at the property, Muyunda showed the court the three bedrooms on the ground floor and the two upstairs that he had alluded to in his testimony.
But one of the bedrooms upstairs was locked, prompting Chungu to explain to the court that it was his daughter’s bedroom which she left locked when she traveled for her graduation.
The witness also showed the court a gym, servant’s quarter and the nine flats.
In cross examination by defence lawyers Mark Haimbe, Kebby Wishimanga and Kelvin Bwalya Fube, the witness insisted that the owner of the double storey building and the nine flats was Lt Gen Chimese.
“I was working for Gen Chimese. Though he was not staying there,” he said.
Asked who informed him that the property belonged to Chimese, Muyunda said the Commander used to go to the property and would mention that it was his house.
He added that the double story house was not occupied the time he worked at the property.
And when KBF put it to the witness that the entire property did not belong to Lt Gen Chimese, Muyunda said “what I know is that they belong to him your worship”.
Asked if he saw any documents indicating that any of the properties on the premises belonged to Lt Gen Chimese, the witness said he did not.
Asked to confirm if he had seen any title deeds showing Lt Gen Chimese’s names, Muyunda said he had never seen any of such documents.
Asked if he knew a company called Chita Lodge, Muyunda said he had no idea about it.
Further asked if he was aware that Chita Lodge had been owning the entire plot since 2010, Muyunda responded in the negative.
He also added that when he worked as caretaker, Chungu never visited the premises nor took building materials there.
The witness also confirmed that he did not work for ZAF.
Trial continues on August 26, 28 and 29, this year.