United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) president Charles Chanda and his daughter were yesterday arrested at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court after they appeared in court for allegedly swindling 134 people out of millions of Kwacha on pretex that they had land for sale when in fact not.
In the complaint before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court commenced by the intended purchasers of the said land, Chanda has been jointly charged with his 24 year-old daughter, Esther, with 134 counts of obtaining money by false pretence.
It is alleged that on dates unknown but between January 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019 in Lusaka, the two whilst acting together with other persons unknown did by false pretence obtain K3,922,997 from the complainants on the pretex that they were selling subdivisions on Charliesdale when in fact not.
When the matter came up for plea yesterday, Magistrate Alice Walusiku read out 20, out of the 134 counts, and the two denied the charges.
Earlier, the defence lawyer had asked for an adjournment before Chanda and his daughter could take plea saying he did not have an opportunity to sit down with his clients and needed time more time with them.
The lawyer said his clients didn’t even know what taking plea meant, adding that it would be unfair to subject them to things they didn’t understand.
However, the State objected to the application saying the accused had sufficient time to give instructions to their lawyer as they were served the court process on September 30, this year and that their advocates acknowledged receipt on the October 3.
In her ruling, magistrate Walusiku refused to adjourn the matter owing to the number of the charges and ordered that the accused take plea.
After taking plea on 20 counts, magistrate Walusiku adjourned the matter to October 10.
But as soon as Chanda and his daughter walked out of the court room, they were surrounded by police officers and later bundled in a green police van before being taken to Lusaka Central police station.
The complainants applauded the police for the arrest.
Police Spokesperson, Esther Katongo confirmed the arrest, adding that the UPPZ leader was warned and cautioned for another 160 counts of obtaining money by false pretences.
“The UPPZ leader was picked today between 12:00 hours and 13:00 hours from Lusaka’s Magistrates’ Complex where he was appearing in a civil case. He is currently being Warned and Cautioned for 160 counts of Obtaining money by false pretences. This is a matter where unsuspecting members of the public paid for pieces of land which the suspect advertised to have been on sale however did not avail to them. Number of victims has continued increasing hence we will quantify the amounts involved in due course,” said Katongo.