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Former Mines Minister Richard Musukwa Accuses DEC of Illegal Search and Seizure, Files Petition in High Court

Former Mines and Minerals Development Minister Richard Musukwa has taken legal action against the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) over what he claims to be the illegal seizure of his properties in Chililabombwe on the Copperbelt and Lusaka’s State Lodge area. The DEC recently seized seven houses and several other assets belonging to Mr. Musukwa, citing reasonable grounds for believing that they were liable to seizure under section 15 of the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act no.14 of 2001.

Mr. Musukwa, in his petition to the High Court, argues that the properties were acquired prior to his involvement in politics. Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, he condemned the actions of the commission, deeming them illegal and politically motivated persecution. According to Mr. Musukwa, all the properties under seizure were acquired legally during his years as a businessman and a public servant in various roles.

Richard Musukwa, a former Minister of Mines with a career spanning over 30 years as a teacher, trade unionist, miner, deputy minister, government chief whip, and minister, expressed his outrage at the law enforcement agencies for the unlawful seizure of his legitimately acquired property. He asserted that he was a successful businessman before entering politics in 2011 and accused the authorities of attempting to intimidate him through unwarranted harassment.

Questioning the intentions of the law enforcement agencies, Mr. Musukwa criticized their failure to follow proper legal procedures and allow suspects to present their side of the story. He filed a petition with the High Court to challenge the actions of the DEC, arguing that due process was not followed.

Mr. Musukwa also accused the government of using law enforcement agencies to project a narrative that the Patriotic Front (PF) party was run by criminals. He emphasized the need for common sense and the improvement of people’s livelihoods, rather than engaging in illegal activities.

Expressing his disappointment, Mr. Musukwa highlighted that the law enforcement agencies had even seized vehicles he obtained from parliament and those owned by his companies. He defended his ownership of the vehicles, stating that he had acquired them over time through his own efforts.

Furthermore, Mr. Musukwa cautioned the law enforcement agencies against mistreating his relatives and family members, emphasizing that he alone should be held accountable for his political activities.