'It's a private matter,' says Swaziland on Zambian leader's $4bn mansion

2018-05-17 13:00
President Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

President Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

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Swaziland has reportedly said that the issue involving Zambian President Edgar Lungu's plans to build a mansion in that country is a "private matter".

According to Lusaka Times, Swaziland's government spokesperson Percy Simelane was quoted by the Times of Swaziland newspaper as "reluctantly saying that the purchase of land to build a family house for president Lungu is a private issue".

Simelane reportedly made reference to a Swazi citizen whom he said had a family ranch in one of the First World countries. "That country's government had nothing to do with it. It was as private as the alleged construction of the Zambian president's house," Simelane was quoted as saying.

This came falling media reports that Lungu was building a mansion worth millions of dollars for himself in the southern African country.

Reports, according to BBC, put the mansion's price tag at around $4 million.

Gift

Zambian media quoted the country's minister of information Dora Siliya as confirming the reports.

According to Zambia Eye, Siliya maintained, however, that there was nothing sinister about the development, as King Mswati "gave Mr Lungu the land as a gift". 

"These are normal practices when the president travels, that various gifts are given in various forms. In this case it was land that was given to the president. This land was processed and given to the president in title," Siliya was quoted as saying by Lusaka Times, which cited other online publications.

The Times of Swaziland said that Lungu's mansion would be built on Lot 225 of Farm Nkonyeni III.

The newspaper said that despite the Zambian government saying the land was a gift, it had seen documents from the Deeds Registry which showed that it was one of around 90 plots owned by Inyatsi Properties Limited, which had acquired it lawfully from Rudolph Investments last year.

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Read more on:    edgar lungu  |  king mswati iii  |  zambia  |  swaziland  |  southern africa

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