On July 6 2022, Diamond TV Zambia published an article stating that Former First Lady, Esther Lungu admitted owning the fifteen (15) houses that were seized by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in New Kasama on July 1 2022. In a letter of demand to the Commission’s Director General Mary Chirwa, Mrs. Lungu through her lawyer Makebi Zulu, said had DEC been diligent enough to conduct an elementary search at the Ministry of lands, they would have established that the property belonged to her. The story was trending after DEC announced it had seized the houses that were believed to be owned by one Esther Nyawa Tembo. At the time of the seizure the Commission had called upon Tembo to provide proof of ownership of the property.
The iVerify fact checking process has determined as true the claim that Former First Lady, Esther Lungu has admitted to owning fifteen (15) houses in New Kasama that were seized by DEC on 1st July 2022.
In a letter of demand verified by iVerify sent to DEC through Makebi Zulu Advocates , Mrs. Lungu informed DEC that she acquired the property in 2015 and that her name was on four title deeds.
The letter was written in response to the statement that DEC published and was circulating on Facebook on July 1 2022 in which the Commission was demanding proof of ownership of the seized properties.
In conclusion, it is true that Mrs. Lungu has admitted to owning 15 houses in New Kasama that DEC seized on July 1 2022. However, there is no evidence yet to prove if the houses were proceeds of crime.