Zambian police arrest, charge former first lady over alleged theft

Police in Zambia Wednesday arrested and charged former first lady Esther Lungu along with four others over alleged theft.

Esther, 66, is the wife of former President Edgar Lungu, who ruled the Southern African country from 2015 to 2021.

Danny Mwale, a police deputy spokesman, said Esther was jointly charged with James Phiri, 49, Lee Chisulo, 31, Kapambwe Lungu, 42 and Catherine Banda, 30, on three counts of theft of motor vehicles and a count of theft of a certificate of title for a property.

Esther has also been separately charged with possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

“All the suspects are currently detained in police custody,” Mwale told reporters.

Prior to Mwale’s statement, Esther appeared at a local police station. She was accompanied by members of the Patriotic Front (PF), the party her husband led before announcing his retirement from politics in 2021.

Raphael Nakacinda, a PF spokesman, accused Hichilema of trying to sway the attention of citizens from the current economic hardships affecting the nation.

Brian Mundubile, a leader of the opposition in parliament, described the series of events as “frivolous.”

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