Zambia’s Former First Lady Arrested For Alleged Theft

Police in Zambia arrested and charged former first lady Esther Lungu and four others on Wednesday for alleged theft.

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

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

Esther has also been charged separately with possessing property suspected of being proceeds of crime.

“All of the suspects are currently detained in police custody,” Mwale said to 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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