Chiluba's wife faces theft charges

The trial of Regina Kafunda Mwanza, wife of former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba started on Monday with a prosecution witness testifying that she channelled $80,000 (P480, 000) through Barclays Bank in Lusaka to buy Addo House, a commercial property in Ndola. Mwanza has been charged with nine counts of being in possession and receiving state property believed to have been stolen, some of which belonged to State House in Lusaka.

Moola Nayoto, the first prosecution witness and a former senior superintendent of police, told magistrate Chilombo Phiri that his investigations at the bank using a magistrate's search warrant revealed the transfer of the huge sum of money in three instalments. He conducted the investigations when he was attached to the Task Force on Corruption where he was assigned to trace the bank accounts of Mwanza. He said that he obtained another search warrant to go to Standard Chartered Bank in Ndola, where he looked at deposit slips made in the name of Regina Chifunda Mwanza. He testified that on September 10, 2002 he applied for another search warrant to carry out investigations at Mwanza's House No 54 Lewanika Road, Kansenshi, Ndola but he only found her relatives.

He told the court that during the search, he stumbled on 21 documents and that some lawyers representing her were present. The documents included clearing papers, Zambia Revenue Authority customs/assessment papers. He also found papers for a Toshiba television set that belonged to State House.

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