LUSAKA - Zambia will seize funds and properties belonging to its former president Frederick Chiluba, above, and his associates if they fail to pay back more than R317million allegedly siphoned from the treasury by them, a minister said yesterday.
Chiluba said last week that a British judge's order that he personally return more than R283million stolen while he was in office "bordered on racism". He has denied the charges.
Zambia's information and broadcasting minister, Mike Mlongoti, said the attorney-general would issue a seizure notice for the funds, which were frozen last year in Britain, Belgium and other European nations.
"If Chiluba and his co-accused fail to appeal against the judgement or pay the money within 14 days, the attorney-general will file documents to seize their properties," he said.
"There are properties that were frozen in London and other countries, which the government will seize. This is a natural progression of the court process."
Chiluba, whose wife is scheduled to be tried for in July for allegedly buying properties with stolen state funds, has said he is a victim of a witch hunt by his successor, President Levy Mwanawasa. - Reuters