Confessions of drug trafficking Zambian women
“Fast money landed me in
|Mulenga Banda (l) and
Maureen Mukunta in the waiting lounge at Lusaka International
The desire to make fast money landed
me in prison, a Zambian woman convicted of drug trafficking in Mauritius has
Maureen Mukunta, 36, was convicted of drug trafficking in 2005
together with another Zambian Mulenga Banda, 28.
While Mukunta is serving
an eight-year jail term for trafficking in heroine, Banda is serving a 15-year
sentence for trafficking in cocaine.
The duo was extradited by the
Zambian government from Mauritius and arrived at the Lusaka International
Airport aboard a South African Airways flight at about 20:45 hours on
Speaking to journalists, Mukunta expressed regret for her
involvement in drug trafficking.
“I thank the government and the people
of Zambia for accepting me back. It hasn’t been easy for me but I’ll try my
best. Making fast money is not a good idea at all. The desire to make fast money
landed me into prison.
“And this desire for money came because I wanted
to take care of my son. He was very young then and since then, I have never met
my son. I can’t wait to meet him although I don’t even know where he is and how
he is now,” lamented Mukunta as she broke down in tears.
“At the time I
was caught I was living in South Africa. In Zambia my family is scattered all
over, but my grandmother used to live in Zingalume in Lusaka.”
counterpart Banda who previously lived in Lusaka’s Northmead area apologised for
the embarrassment she caused the nation.
“I want to thank the government
who facilitated the process through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I apologise
to the Zambian people for the disgrace I’ve caused them. I want to tell everyone
that drug trafficking is not a good thing. If you do that you will end up
serving a death sentence,” cautioned Banda.
The duo was later taken to
Mukobeko Maximum prison in Kabwe where they will complete their
Enforcement Commission (DEC) public relations manager John Nyawali explained
that the extradition deal was sealed through the Southern
Africa Development Committee (SADC).
“Drug related issues have
painted a bad picture on our country. Of late we have seen an increased number
of women caught dealing in drugs. It’s difficult to understand why more women
are involved. I think it’s because women look more dignified than men, so they
are usually not prone to suspicion; and they end up being used in drug
“And for others it’s the desire to get rich,” said Nyawali.
“The extradition process started in 2005 through SADC. Our officers accompanied
these two convicts all the way from Mauritius until they reached here. I would
like to warn our women that they should uphold their esteem by keeping away from