FORMER first lady Christine Kaseba has disputed a claim by Petronellah Mpundu that she was also married to former President Michael Sata and was, therefore, a dependant entitled to the benefits from his estate together with the two children they bore together.
Dr. Kaseba says she was the only person legally married to Mr. Sata and has produced a letter written by Mr. Sata to Ms Mpundu to prove the point.
Ms Mpundu has applied for an order of injuction because the administrators of Mr. Sata’s Estate- who are Dr. Kaseba and Mulenga Sata had excluded her from benefits although she was traditionally married to Mr. Sata and that some money awarded to her children did not provide full disclosure of the extent of the estate to which they were entitled.
It was in this regard that she had applied for an injunction to stop the two administrators from distributing benefits until the full extent of the estate was disclosed.
However, in opposing the injunction Dr. Kaseba has stated that Ms Mpundu was not married to Mr. Sata and was, therefore, not entitled to any benefits from the Estate.
She also said that the issue of the children was known to her and that it was in this regard that the joint administrators had since successfully distributed monies held at Standard Chartered Bank and Finance Bank to all beneficiaries except to Petronella’s two children – Mukupa Chitalu Sata (17) and Mulenga Salome Sata (10) – because they had failed to obtain bank details of the two children from their mother.
Dr. Kaseba also disclosed in the affidavit that prior to attempts to remit the money, Mulenga Sata had held a meeting with Ms Mpundu to brief her about the distribution of the money.
She added that as administrators, they were ready to pay into court the monies from the two bank accounts.
However, in her application for an injunction, Ms Mpundu has demanded for a full disclosure of the estate of President Sata to establish the equitable portion due to her children and herself as a former wife of the late president.
She believes that the children were each entitled to a share of their father’s estate pursuant to the Intestate Succession Act chapter 59 of the laws of Zambia. “Further, that I am equally entitled under the same Act to a share of the estate as a dependant since I was maintained by the deceased during his life time.”
She added that the children were entitled to his benefits as a former president as provided for under the Former Presidents Act Chapter 15 of the laws of Zambia.
“I pursued for the share of the children’s benefits from the Government and was informed that it was for the administrators of the estate of the deceased to pursue the Government to pay for the maintenance of the children,” she said.
She, however, said that the children had not received any form of assistance from their father’s estate since his death which had resulted in many challenges for her to provide for the needs of the children. Mr. Sata, she said, had even provided a driver to transport her children.
She admitted that on 2nd February 2016 she received a letter from Dr. Kaseba and Mulenga Sata requesting for the bank account information for the children for the distribution of the estate of the deceased. “They allocated K106,516.67 to each child as well as US$16,304.00 and K39,460.59 to each child without showing a proper valuation of the estate”.
“In the division of money in the accounts, I was not included as one of the dependants of the deceased, showing clearly that I have been left out in the sharing of the estate of the deceased and no full disclosure has been made about the full extent of the estate,” Ms Mpundu said.
However, in the affidavit in opposition, Dr. Kaseba has stated that she was the only one legally married to the late president and that he could not have contracted another valid marriage during that period. She said this in her affidavit in opposition to inter-parte summons for an order of an interim injunction in a matter challenging proceedings of the distribution and sharing of the estate of Mr Sata.
Dr Kaseba explained that the Sata family appointed her as the widow and president Sata’s son, Mulenga, as co-administrators to his estate during a family gathering on January 29, 2015, where it was agreed that the two would follow up all monetary and physical property left by the late president, for sharing and distribution to the rest of the beneficiaries.
She explained that following her appointment as co-administrator, they communicated by way of letters of all known businesses which Mr Sata was a shareholder including Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), Barclays Bank Zambia Limited, Standard Chartered Bank Zambia Limited and Finance Bank respectively. Other such entities communicated to were Lafarge Cement (formerly Chilanga Cement), Messrs Ellis and Company and Messrs A.D. Adam and Company.
And that they diligently endeavoured to ascertain the extent and value of the estate of Mr Sata and in this regard commissioned Messrs Fairworld Properties Limited to provide valuation services for the estate at cost of K20,000 which was yet to be paid. She has since requested the court that the joint administrators be allowed to proceed with their duty to expeditiously administer the estate of Mr Sata, including recompensed adequately` if there was any injury suffered in the process.