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Mwaliteta sues State for false imprisonment

FORMER Kafue member of parliament Obvious Mwaliteta and four other have sued the Attorney General claiming over K700,000 as special damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

According to a statement of claim filed in the principal registry yesterday, Mwaliteta, Evans Mukobela, MacMillan Shimukonka, Laswell Phiri and Emmanuel Mumbi sued the State over their arrest and prosecution for aggravated robbery from August 14, 2016 to August 8, 2017.

Mwaliteta and others were accused of stealing a handbag and K350 cash from an Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) employee and further that they stole a blackberry mobile phone worth K4,000 and statements of the announcement of results (gen form 12) from agents of the ECZ.

It was alleged that the robbery was committed at the ECZ offices in Longacres in Lusaka.

The plaintiffs stated that there were no reasonable grounds for suspecting either that they committed the offence and stole the items.

“In the premises, the plaintiffs were falsely imprisoned by the defendant from 14th August 2016 to August 8, 2017. By the reason of the foregoing matters, the plaintiffs sustained loss and damages,” they stated.

Mwaliteta and others stated that they were maliciously prosecuted by the State and lost liberty but were acquitted at no case to answer stage following a protracted trial and were released on August 8, 2017.

They stated that the charges brought by the Zambia Police were without reasonable and probable cause and that the witnesses fabricated evidence which caused them to be detained merely on account of being found at ECZ offices during the time of the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2016.

Mwaliteta and others stated that there was no evidence that they were ever involved in the physical attack of the electoral officers at the scene of the incident.

They added that the Zambia Police officers knew or ought to have known that the treatment of the plaintiffs in the high-handed manner was unlawful and unreasonable.

The plaintiffs further stated that they suffered pain, embarrassment, humiliation and injury and have suffered loss and damage.

They submitted that they lost personal liberty for 356 days in detention until they were acquitted.

Mwaliteta and others stated that they were deprived of their personal liberty and faced the fear and anxiety of a groundless prosecution against them.

They stated that they are entitled to claim aggravated damage and are claiming special damages in the combined sum of K768,971.00, damages for false imprisonment, damages for malicious prosecution, aggravated and exemplary damages, general damages, interest, any other relief the court might deem fit and just.

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