Documents relating to Lungu’s eSwatini land ‘gift’ being tempered with – Prof. Hansungule

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Prof Hansungule

President Edgar Lungu’s Nkoyeni mansion being built in Manzini, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) is a pure case of naked theft of public resources and grand corruption, Professor Michelo Hansungule has charged.

And Prof. Hansungule, a law lecturer at the University of Pretoria, has revealed that “serious attempts” are being made at the Deeds Registry of Swaziland to conceal documents relating to the land in question since the scandal broke.

When the story went public that President Lungu was ‘gifted’ a piece of land in eSwatini on which a multimillion dollar mansion is to be built, the Head of State through his press aide Amos Chanda and Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya claimed the land was a gift from King Muswati.

But investigations by local media in eSwatini revealed that the land in question was previously owned by Inyatsi Properties Limited, a company that has won multimillion dollar road contracts in Zambia.

“Contrary to President Lungu’s mouth piece Minister of Disinformation Dora Siliya that Swaziland’s King Mswati gave her boss the land, records and facts on the ground are unequivocally that the king never at any time give or donate this land to Edgar Lungu,” Prof. Hansungule stated.

“Since this story broke out serious attempts have been made at the Deeds Registry of Swaziland which is at the Income Tax Building, 3rd Floor along Mhlambayatsi Road in Mbabane, to try and hide documents under lock but people are people. When they are fed up with something, they simultaneously ‘hide’ and ‘expose’. According to the records, this transaction does not involve king Mswati.”

Prof Hansungule pointed out that the eSwatini government has distanced King Muswati from any involvement in the land saga.

“In fact, the government of Swaziland is already on record in denying that King Mswati or his government is involved. The Times of Swaziland quoted Swaziland government spokesman Percy Simelane as saying ‘the purchase of land to build a family house for president Lungu is a private issue’.

“No one has since rebutted this statement and to date it remains official Swaziland government position on this deal.
“To fortify his government’s position, Simelane gave an example of a Swazi citizen whom he said had a family ranch in one of the first world countries, saying ‘That country’s government had nothing to do with it (sic),” said Prof Hansungule.

He says he has reached out to the eSwatini publication that first broke the story and they have denied ever mentioning King Mswati in their story.

“I personally asked the Times of Swaziland who first broke out the story for a comment on Zambian Disinformation Minister Dora Silia’s claim that the land in question was a donation from King Mswati to Lungu? The Law Association of Zambia unfortunately, repeated Silia’s claim.

“The media house said they are surprised because they never in their story said the land was a donation from the King to Lungu. The question is why when exposed they would try to drag the King’s name if there was nothing untoward in the transaction? The answer is obvious.”

Prof. Hansungule has since challenged President Lungu to publicly produce an authenticated Deed of Donation from the King.

He further stated the Zambian President’s salary is a matter of public record and wondered where president Lungu was getting the money to finance his huge personal projects.

“The salary of the president in Zambia is pubic affair. Anyone who has money can go to the Government Printers and purchase the government gazette in which is published the salary of the president and see for themselves how much the president earns per month. I have the relevant gazette with me.

“Though the president’s salary has steeply jumped to the roof since the time of president Kaunda who during was getting peanuts, it simply can’t support the kind of huge personal projects president Lungu is reportedly involved in Zambia, now Swaziland and other places. Let’s not fear. President Lungu should be made to explain where he gets all these huge resources to fund his expensive projects?” Prof. Hansungule wondered.

He challenged the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the eSwatini land and mansion saga, saying despite attempts to hide evidence, the case remained easy to solve.

“The ACC must investigate the Nkoyeni mansion scandal. The Nkoyeni Mansion scandal is a very simple case that if investigations had been instituted immediately it broke out, it would by now have concluded and the culprits already put behind bars. Despite attempts to cover the footsteps, paper trail about this crime is evident all the way from Mbabane to Lusaka. Witnesses who at the risk to their lives are willing to testify are there in both the two countries. Already, they are talking to ordinary people all because their consciences and religious upbringing cannot shut them down.”

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