FORMER director general in the Office of the President (Special Division) Xavier Chungu has insisted that he is the bonafide owner of several properties and bank accounts seized from him by the State between 2002 and 2009, and as such, they should be given back to him.

Chungu has submitted that his properties and bank account with US$150,000 were seized/forfeited to the State upon mere suspicion and without according him an opportunity to be heard, an action which he argues was illegal.

In this matter, Chungu has sued the state in the Lusaka High Court demanding payment of US $500,000 as compensation for illegal detention and wants an order that the state pays him $150,000 seized from his account at Access Financial Services and an order for the payment of $37,050 for lost rentals.

In his statement of claim, Chungu stated that on January 7, 2002 and various other dates between 2002 and August 15, 2009, he was put under house arrest and also remanded in prison for a cumulative period of 34 months on allegations of theft of unspecified motor vehicles and theft by public servant.

He stated that whenever he was detained by the Taskforce on Corruption and the case was taken to court, the state would enter a nolle prosequi and the process of arrest and charge would start afresh.

The plaintiff stated that despite him not being prosecuted successfully or at all earnest, the state seized his property by way of forfeiture and forfeited his houses F/488a/27/D/2 Leopards Hill Lusaka, F/377a/1/E/1 Kabulonga road Lusaka, F/488a/8/B/2 White Woodlane, Kabulonga, LUS/208/M, lot 10752/M and LUS/20863.

And in his summary of the facts filed into court on March 15, 2022, Chungu stated that it was not in dispute that he was detained for a cumulative period of 34 months and that his properties were forfeited/seized.

Chungu stated that the State was agreeable in its defence filed before court that he kept appearing before court for mention only without taking plea for 36 months.

“The plaintiff is the rightful owner of the two farms and the defendant undertakes to engage the plaintiff for alternative pieces of land,” stated Chungu.