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HomeLocal NewsI OWN NO PROPERTY IN ESWATINI - ECL

I OWN NO PROPERTY IN ESWATINI – ECL

By NATION REPORTER

FORMER President Edgar Lungu has described malicious and utter lies reports alleging that he owns a luxurious property in the Kingdom of Eswatini and has challenged the UPND government to use State machinery to investigate and verify its information before slandering him.

A report from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has purported that former President Lungu allegedly own a luxurious property in Eswatini and Charles Milupi, the Infrastructure Minister has gone to challenge the former head of State to explain the source of the money for the investment.

However, former President Lungu has stated that the ICIJ report titled: ‘Swazi Secrets – a glimpse inside the tiny Kingdom’ was based on unverified information, innuendos and in many cases utter lies.

“A report from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) titled: “Swazi Secrets – a glimpse inside the tiny Kingdom”, has been brought to my attention. Further, and following this report, the minister in charge of Housing and Infrastructure in Zambia, Mr Charles Milupi, is quoted in one of our local tabloids challenging me to explain the source of the money for my investment or properties in Eswatini,” former President Lungu said.

“A casual read of the ICIJ report shows that the report is based on unverified information, innuendos and in many cases, utter lies. The report, inter alia, alleges that I own a luxurious property in Eswatini. The truth of the matter, however, is that I own no property in Eswatini,” he said

The former head of State explained that during his official visit to Eswatini as head of State in 2028, His Majesty King Mswati III had offered him a plot for a house whose architectural drawings had been prepared.

Former President Lungu said he had been compelled to respond to the allegations because he did not expect a senior minister in government to challenge him when he had state machinery to easily establish the truth before establishing the truth.

He said it was surprising that the UPND government had gone to great lengths in throwing all manner of baseless accusation against him.

“I was extremely grateful for the offer from His Majesty, King Mswati III, but I chose not to take it up particularly after the hullabaloo in Zambia, alleging that the gift was not declared. Therefore, it can clearly be seen that this is not a new allegation. It has been popping up occassionally, especially from malicious people whose fervent desire is to paint me black. I have elected to remain silent all this time out of deep respect for His Majesty, King Mswati III who made that offer in very good faith,” the former President said.

And former President Lungu has come to the defence of a Zambian Eswatini-based businessman, Michelo Shakantu who the government has accused of only conducting business with the Zambian government during reign.

The former head of State said Mr Shakantu had been doing business with the Zambia government as way back as during the Levy Mwanawasa administration and that it was therefore malicious and mischievous to suggest that the businessman only conducted business with the PF government at the time.

“The Zambian Government offers business opportunities and construction jobs to many international companies from different nations such as China, Turkey, Japan, South Africans, to name but a few. In this vein, Inyatsi Company which is associated with Mr. Michelo Shakantu has enjoyed doing business in Zambia even before I became President. His company, to my knowledge, has had footprint of business since the days of President Levy Mwanawasa to date,” former President Lungu said.

“It is, therefore, malicious and mischievious to suggest or portray that Mr Shakantu conducted business with the Zambian Government only during my tenure as President,” he said.

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