The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has arrested former Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Lt General Eric Chimese for various criminal offences and has since ceased his properties suspected to be proceeds of crime.
DEC spokesperson Theresa Katongo told journalists at a media briefing in Lusaka, Wednesday, that Chimese had been arrested, jointly-charged with Chita Lodge director James Chungu (also known as Jimmy Fingers) for concealing property believed to be proceeds of crime, wilfully giving false information, abuse of authority and possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
“The Drug Enforcement Commission has arrested former Zambia Air Force commander Lieutenant General Eric Mwaba Chimese for various criminal activities. Eric Mwaba Chimese, 50, a retired Zambia Air Force commander residing at Plot No. F/ 4301/3/3 Baobab area in Lusaka has been arrested and jointly-charged with James Chungu, 51, a director at Chita Lodge Lodges Limited for concealing of property, wilful giving of false information, abuse of authority of office and possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime,” Katongo revealed.
“In the first count, Lt Gen Eric Chimese (Rtd) on dates unknown but between 1st January, 2018, and 31st January, 2019, jointly and whilst acting together with James Chungu and other persons unknown, did conceal a portion of a farm in Ibex on which nine fully-furnished flats, an up-stair house, a gym, visitors quarters and a semi-detached servants’ quarters have been constructed purporting to show that the said properties belong to Chita Lodges Limited, a company where James Chungu is a director, when in fact the properties in question are owned and were constructed by Lt General Chimese.”
The former ZAF commander is also accused of wilfully giving false information to authorised officers by stating that the said properties belonged to Chita Lodges when in fact not.
Katongo also disclosed that Chimese had been charged for abuse of authority of office by directing ZAF employees to do construction works at his properties.
“In count two, James Chungu on 31st January, 2019, did wilfully give false information to authorised officers by stating that the said properties where for Chita Lodges Limited when in fact not. In count three, Lt Gen Eric Chimese (Rtd.) abused his authority of office in his capacity as Zambia Air Force commander by directing the deployment of some Zambia Air Force employees to do construction works at his properties. In count four, Lt Gen. Chimese (Rtd.) did possess properties suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act. The Commission has since seized properties, which include 13 fully-furnished houses, one semi-detached house and a gym all within Lusaka. The accused persons are on police bond and will appear in court soon,” said Katongo.