Regina Chiluba was jailed for three and a half years by a Lusaka magistrate, state radio reported. It was a major blow to the legacy of the ex-leader credited with reintroducing multiparty politics to the southern African country.
ZNBC radio said she had been jailed for receiving $300,000 from her husband in suspected stolen treasury funds and also property which included houses purchased from treasury funds.
The former president faced charges of theft of public funds amounting to $488,000, but denies any wrongdoing.
Western donors and international agencies have praised Zambia’s government for tackling corruption in a crackdown introduced by late President Levy Mwanawasa.
Zambia has in the last six years jailed several prominent figures, including senior officials and ministers who served under Chiluba’s 10-year administration, which ended in 2001. Chiluba ousted founding President Kenneth Kaunda in 1991 multiparty elections.