Some winners of the recently held My Home Town beauty pageant have spoken of the frustrations that have come with winning the pageant after the Drug Enforcement Commission froze their bank accounts.
Faith Mukonko and Dorcas Couvaris were the top winners and each walked away with US$150,000 and Mercedez Benz cars while others who emerged as runner ups received various amounts in US dollars.
Some of the ladies who spoke on condition of anonymity say they are now going through an agonizing period as they are unable to access even their own personal funds that have been tied up in their bank accounts as DEC investigates the Chairman Mr. James Ndambo.
They lament that the DEC investigations have taken too long and they feel that they are now paying a tough price for winning a competition organized by Mr. Ndambo’s My Home Town Initiative.
They also confirmed that none of the ladies who won vehicles at the pageant has been able to drive their vehicles due to the seizure by DEC.
“We have even failed to have a feel of the vehicles as DEC quickly moved in and grabbed them. It’s so traumatizing,” one of the ladies lamented.
This week, the Commission returned three of the seven vehicles it had seized from Mr. Ndambo following the conclusion of investigations into how they were purchased.
DEC Director General Mary Chirwa confirmed that the Commission had launched investigations into the activities of Mr. Ndambo and the My Home Town.
A source at DEC confirmed the vehicles were seized because the suppliers were closely linked to the PF administration.
“What happened is that we found that the Chairman’s activities here we clean and above board and we couldn’t pin in on anything but when we dug deeper we found that the vehicles were supplied by Phil Auto and Chiza (Sarago) and you know those two were close to the PF and so we suspected the monies and the cars could have been proceeds of crime,” the source said.
The source confirmed that now the investigations have moved to the two vehicle dealers to verify how the purchase of the vehicles was made.