Lawyers for former Zambian first lady
Regina Chiluba said they are hopeful she will be granted bail this Friday. Mrs.
Chiluba, the wife of former President Frederick Chiluba was ordered jailed
Tuesday for three-and-a-half years for illegally receiving more than $300,000
in stolen government funds and three houses while her husband was president.
Frederick Chiluba, who served as President of Zambia from 1991 to 2002, is
himself accused of stealing millions of dollars also from state funds. A court
in London found him guilty in 2007 of stealing $46 million dollars of public
In the past six years Zambia has jailed several prominent figures for
corruption, including senior officials who served in Chiluba's 10-year
spokesman for former President Frederick Chiluba told VOA Mrs. Chiluba and her husband have maintained all along
that there was no proof they stole any state funds.
do not agree with the judgment from the sentencing, so Mrs. Chiluba has filed,
through her lawyers papers for appeal in the high court, and then she has
applied for bail pending this appeal. Her bail application will be heard on
Friday, the sixth of March 2009," he said.
said the chances are great that Mrs. Chiluba will be granted bail on Friday.
almost automatic in Zambia that when you applied for bail pending appeal, when
you've shown evidence that you appealed before the High Court, the lower court
usually do give bail. So we are hopeful that the bail application will be heard
on Friday and the she will be granted bail on Friday, then we will begin the
process of appealing to the High Court," Mwamba said.
said the charges that the former first lady illegally received more than
$300,000 in stolen government funds and three houses are not serious under
fact in the Zambian law, the charges are not serious because she's accused of
receiving property suspected to be stolen or unlawfully obtained. This doesn't
mean that we are not taking this matter seriously. Mrs. Chiluba has one
fundamental principle. She has stated that there is no proof that this money
was stolen anywhere, and besides, there is no conviction against the former
president, Dr. Chiluba. So how can anyone allege that she received stolen
property or that she received stolen property or that she obtained property or
funds alleged to be stolen?" he said.
President Chiluba, who served as President of Zambia from 1991 to 2002, is
himself accused of stealing millions of dollars also from state funds.
Mwamba said under Zambian law, the former president stands innocent until
proven guilty in a competent court of law.
need to establish first that such money was stolen or unlawfully obtained
before they can go to people that are said to have received these gifts from
Dr. Chiluba," Mwamba said.
the past six years Zambia has jailed several prominent figures for corruption,
including senior officials who served in Chiluba's 10-year administration.
said the conviction of Mrs. Chiluba and former officials are all a political
vendetta started by the late Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa.
"Doctor Chiluba has always contended
that these matters are political. They were started politically by the late
President Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. Remember the allegations were that he had
stolen two billion dollars; they came down that he had stolen $40 million; they
came down that now he stole $500,000. So he contends these matters are mere
political. Even what we are seeing in court are matters that were begun through
a political process to crush a man who was deemed to be a political threat to
the government," Mwamba said