Economy

Maureen’s Real Estate Empire

maureen-mwanawasaFormer First Lady Maureen Mwanwasa may be one of the big time real estate property owners in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. Zambia Reports has learned that the widow of late third Republican president Levy Mwanawasa has several houses in areas like Rhodes Park, Olympia Park, Kabulonga, Woodlands, Nyumba Yanga as well as Ibex Hill registered in other people’s names and companies that only exist on paper.

She allegedly is a stinking rich landlord who even donated more than K1 billion to the Patriotic Front, PF, campaign effort for the 2011 elections.

A reliable source made the revelations to ZR indicating that all the former First Lady’s properties were acquired while her husband was president as she practically had no single house before then.

Giving an example of Ibex Hill, an area where she has several houses, the source indicated that she would send people including Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, MMD, cadres and officials to the National Housing Authority, NHA, to pay for the houses. The lucky ones would also have a house bought for them as a way of sealing their lips but others were simply given cash to fend for themselves.

Beneficiaries of her house buying spree at the NHA include former Lusaka Central MMD chairperson and now a PF member Chilekwa Munkonge, who also has several houses in Ibex Hill and lives in one of them. Others are Fred Mubanga who used to make several donations to the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative, MMCI, through a named car importing company he worked for and even David Kombe who was one of President Mwanawasa’s special assistants at State House.

It is believed Mrs. Mwanawasa used her position as the president’s wife to acquire the properties and tried to play it safe by donating some money to the PF campaigns in 2011.

This strategy seems to be working for now as she believes she bought her way into having President Michael Sata and the PF turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what are obviously dubiously acquired properties and other skeletons in her closet. Right now she is also believed to be a go between for some foreign investors whom she has taken to State House
at least twice.

Mrs. Mwanawasa is accused of being a ruthless landlord with all her operations in this regard taking place from the law firm she runs, Mwanawasa and Co. at the posh Mukuba Pension House in Lusaka.

But one of her workers has said that looking after the properties is not as easy as it used to be when she was the First Lady as that time she would just give you money even without counting it so that whatever repairs are needed on any of the properties she owns through other people are done.

Now all the new tenants are told to do the repairs themselves and then send a bill which is sometimes disputed. The worker added that even if the bill is not disputed the payment may take long with some tenants being told that the receipt is lost.

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