Friday, February 23, 2024

We are not investigating Mr. James Ndambo-DEC

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The Drug Enforcement Commission has dismissed reports that it is investigating Zambian, but South African multinational businessman James Ndambo for any crime. DEC Director General Mary Chirwa has said that none of the high-value vehicles that the commission is investigating are connected to either Mr. Ndambo or My Home Town Organisation.

She explained that the Commission received information on 8th July 2022 of high-value vehicles parked in a yard in Lusaka. They included a Lexus, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Range Rover, two Toyota Landcruisers and a Toyota Hiace.

She adds that the vehicles were seized to verify ownership, details which the commission has obtained and indicated that one of the owners is a company.

“The Commission has established the names in which these motor vehicles are registered of which one is a company and Mr. Ndambo is not a Director or Shareholder. None of the motor vehicles is registered in the names of James Ndambo or “My Home Town” as alleged by social media, she said.

“As a Commission, we, therefore, wish to dismiss media reports that we are investigating the South African businessman in connection with those vehicles or indeed anything else. If, however, Mr Ndambo claims that the said motor vehicles are his, we shall still record the necessary statements for us to conclude the matter professionally, ” she added

Below is the full DEC statement

PRESS STATEMENT
Lusaka, Tuesday, 12 July 2022

UPDATE ON INVESTIGATIONS BEING CONDUCTED INVOLVING THE FORMER FIRST LADY AND THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE MY HOME TOWN COMMITTEE

The nation is aware that the Financial Intelligence Centre recently published its trends analysis report which was themed “Cash Bonanza”. According to the report, the year 2021 was characterized by people being found with a lot of money which was sitting outside the established financial systems in the country. This led to cash purchases of high value properties such as real estate, motor vehicles and other items, without any proper trail of how the items were acquired and where the money came from.

This is not a trend only in Zambia but globally, and as financial investigators, our duty is to investigate whatever information comes to us whether directly or indirectly to its logical conclusion. In this regard investigations are done backwards from asset to owner to source as apposed from illegal activity to perpetrator to asset.

Investigations are not targeted at any particular individual. Investigations can be instituted on a high value property which then leads us to the owner. It must also be noted that seizure/restriction of property is part of the investigations. While investigators are verifying other facts, the property in question needs to be restricted/seized so that it is not disposed off by the suspect.

The law is blind as you are aware and does not choose status, colour, religion nor gender. It’s equally applied to all citizens.

No one is immune to investigations, no one. Only the former President and the sitting President are immune to prosecution.

With that said; allow me to specifically update the nation on the two investigations that Drug Enforcement Commission is handling that have rocked the social media space.

1. Regarding the case involving the former First Lady, Mrs. Esther Nyawa Tembo Lungu, the investigations started with an intelligence report of 15 flats having been abandoned in State Lodge Area. After initial verifications with Ministry of Lands, it showed that the property number was not captured in the system. Further verification with Chongwe Council revealed that the property was sitting on a property No. F/11031 which number was given back to Ministry of Lands to verify who confirmed that, that property number was on offer to a Mr. Benard Chituta and that it was a farm based in Kasama.

Further investigations with the daughter to Mr. Chituta revealed that her father had no property in State Lodge. This lead to us as DEC to pounce on the flats as they had been abandoned at which point my team was then able to verify that the property was for a Mrs. Esther Nyawa Tembo through a Zesco prepaid meter number. At this point the Commission did not know which Esther Nyawa Tembo this was. Thereafter, following the media publication, the Lawyer to the former First Lady made a claim that the said flats were for the former First Lady.

We then invited her to come for an interview on Thursday, 7th July 2022, a date which the lawyers wrote informing us that it was not convenient for them. They proposed today, 12th July 2022 at 10:00hrs which was also not convenient for us. As you are aware, the country is hosting the AU summit and following social media reports that some sections of society would want to raid the Commission on this day. The interview has been postponed to a later date and we want to mention as DEC that we have a lot of respect for the former First Lady as the mother of the nation, and in this regard we would be comfortable to interview her from wherever she will be comfortable. All we want is to establish facts and bring this matter to a logical conclusion. It is unfortunate that the properties we are investigating have lead us to her. (Am sure no one wants to be in my position right now – nevertheless we have to do a professional job.

As the Commission, we responded to the lawyers informing them of our unavailability to attend to the matter today and instead we pushed the date forward. The nation shall be informed once the matter is concluded.

2. On Friday, 8th July 2022, the Drug Enforcement Commission received information about some high value vehicles which were parked in a yard in Lusaka. These vehicles included a Lexus, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Range Rover, two (2) Toyota Land cruisers and a Toyota Hiace , We then conducted an operation in which the said motor vehicles were seized and verifications of their ownership details immediately commenced. So far, the Commission has established the names in which these motor vehicles are registered of which one is a company and Mr. Ndambo is not a Director or Shareholder. None of the motor vehicles is registered in the names of James Ndambo or “My Home Town” as alleged by social media.

As a Commission, we therefore wish to dismiss media reports that we are investigating the South African businessman in connection with those vehicles or indeed anything else. If, however, Mr Ndambo claims that the said motor vehicles are his, we shall still record the necessary statements for us to conclude the matter professionally.

Allow me to emphasize that the law is blind to colour, race and status and for us as DEC, our work is driven by the intelligence information received with no malice at all.

The Commission wishes to assure the general public that we are not playing politics but are merely executing our mandate professionally without fear or favour.

I thank you.

Mary Chirwa
DIRECTOR GENERAL
DRUG ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION

15 COMMENTS

  1. Caught with their torn underwear down. Although frankly I would enjoy seeing this one in picture without any on. Upnd is party led by a frustrated angry insecure little mongoose by the name of hh. Ndambo is richer, wiser and is causing you sleepless nights. You thought you are the only one that can make money in zambia. Fuseke

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    • To the likes of you think that stealing is making money. The reason why you hate HH is that he is correcting that perception, and prosecuting those who have “made” money in that abnormal way. Do not go back to Zambia, if you have money that was made in that way. The DEC will arrest and funnel you to the new Economic Crimes Court.

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    • Am in zambia you f00l..it is called using a vpn. Show me a single conviction that I have for theft. You f00l am employing your father here.have some respect

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  2. Where’s the Office of the President (OP) as we know it? Should ACC rely on tips from the public? Recently the seizure of the former First Lady’s flats were also a tip from the concerned citizen and immediately ACC seized them. Awe naimwe, you can do better.
    ACC’s fight against corruption is being done haphazardly in an uncoordinated manner and the public perception views it as selectively done targeted at perceived enemies of party in govt.

  3. So DEC has continued to shoot blanks. This is what happens if instructions to persecute people are coming from the highest office.

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  4. But the same clown was on znbc yesterday claiming to be investigating Ndambo’s properties!! She is too overzealous to head a law enforcement agency like DEC.. I am beginning to doubt the authenticity of those trends reports FIC used to churn out under her watch. Very disappointing.

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  5. But the DEC DG herself confirmed that they were “investigating Ndambo” yesterday and it was covered by ZNBC News. This excitement wont help the country. This is why I dont believe in recycling personnel, those that were deemed to have been unfairly dismissed/sidelined etc must be compensated but hire new people with no “political” history to manage these sensitive jobs. These people must not only be independent but must be seen to be independent, with no axe to grind.

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  6. It better be and if you wanted to do it, it is better that you have called off the investigations. Please ba DEC get your act together. Stop the announcement, seizure then investigation approach. The methodical approach is investigate, seize, prosecute and then announce. You announce hwen people are going to prison. I thought you are born of a methodical father. kuwayawaya fye.

  7. Ma investigation yamuZambia. Just high value is the only reason to investigate. Mukazi wanga she is high value

  8. This woman isn’t doing anything of substance, she’s just exciting people just like the Task Force of Mwanawasa used to. Soon Government might end up with a mountain of bills to settle in compensations. It’s said that one that barks doesn’t bite. She’s just barking while real criminals sleep peacefully. Just wait and see, nipano tuli

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