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 2010-05-13 04:17 pm Back to NEWS
Confessions of drug trafficking Zambian women

“Fast money landed me in prison

Mulenga Banda (l) and Maureen Mukunta in the waiting lounge at Lusaka International Airport

The desire to make fast money landed me in prison, a Zambian woman convicted of drug trafficking in Mauritius has lamented.

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 Tuesday.

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.”

And her 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 sentences.

And Drug 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 trafficking.

“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 drugs.”

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