Suazilândia, The Times Of Swaziland, Inglês


MBABANE – Zambia former President Dr Edgar Lungu says he chose not to take up an offer for land that was made available to him by His Majesty King Mswati III.

Dr Lungu, on his social media page, set the record straight that he did not own property or business in Eswatini. The allegations were made in a widely publicised report compiled by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) titled: ‘Swazi Secrets – a glimpse inside the tiny kingdom’. The reports alleged that after Dr Lungu was offered the piece of land, a luxurious home was built, though the report does not clearly state who owned such a home.


“During my official visit to Eswatini as head of State in 2018, the King – His Majesty Mswati III – during the exchange of gifts, offered me a plot on which he proposed I could build a house. The empty plot was in a gated golf estate and architectural drawings of the proposed house were prepared. “I was extremely grateful for the offer from His Majesty King Mswati III, but I chose not to take it up, particularly after the hullabaloo in Zambia, alleging that the gift was not declared,” he said. After the report was published, Dr Lungu said the minister in charge of Housing and Infrastructure in Zambia, Charles Milupi, was quoted in one of Zambia’s local tabloids challenging him to explain the source of the money for his investment or properties in Eswatini.

He criticised the ICIJ report as being based on unverified information. “The report, inter alia, alleges that I own a luxurious property in Eswatini. The truth of the matter, however, is that I own no property in Eswatini (sic),” he said. He said the allegation was not new, but had been popping up occasionally, especially from malicious people. “I have elected to remain silent all this time out of deep respect for His Majesty King Mswati III, who made that offer in good faith. I have now been compelled to respond because I did not expect a senior minister in government to throw such a challenge at me, when the government – using the State machinery – can easily establish the truth of the matter,” he said. Dr Lungu said he was not surprised, however, because the Zambia Government had gone to great lengths in throwing all manner of baseless accusations at him. “Similarly, the attack on the Zambian businessman who has settled in Eswatini for decades and has made the kingdom his home, is clearly malicious. “The Zambian Government offers business opportunities and construction jobs to many international companies from different nations such as China, Turkey, Japan and South Africa, to name a few,” he said.

He said Inyatsi Group, which is associated with Chairman Michelo Shakantu, has enjoyed doing business in Zambia even before he became president. “His company, to my knowledge, has had a footprint of business since the days of President Levy Mwanawasa to date. It is, therefore, malicious and mischievous to suggest or portray that Mr Shakantu conducted business with the Zambian Government only during my tenure as president (sic),” Dr Lungu said.

King’s Office: Land did not materialise

MBABANE – The King’s Office says it cannot comment on the ownership of land that did not even materialise. Director of Communications Percy Simelane was responding to questions from the newspaper on the alleged offer of a piece of land to former President Lungu.

“In no uncertain terms Dr Lungu says he was offered land by the King, but did not take it because of the hullabaloo that ensued in Zambia. We elected not to comment, lest we dilute the sentiments of witness number one. He also says he has no properties in Eswatini, It would, therefore, be folly for us to entertain ownership of land that did not take off. The ethics of journalism dictate that ‘once a position is stated, it exists no more and cannot be a point of reference’, he said.


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