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UPND member sues State for damages for false imprisonment

UPND member Fred Hamamba is now seeking damages for false imprisonment from the State for being maliciously prosecuted for aggravated robbery on allegations that he stole GEN 12 forms and personal property during the 2016 general elections.

Hamamba wants damages for false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, aggravated and exemplary damages, general damages, interest on sums payable at the current Bank of Zambia leading rate and costs for the proceedings.

Hamamba, who has sued the State and cited the Attorney General as the respondent, contends that he was subjected to malicious acts of the Zambia police officers after his arrest.

The UPND member, who sought refuge after the arrest of former Lusaka Province minister Obvious Mwaliteta on similar charges to his, was arrested and prosecuted on allegations that on August 14, 2016 in Lusaka whilst acting together with other persons unknown, stole Elina Nyirenda’s handbag and money valued at K750 and an envelope containing GEN form 12 including Emmanuel Simbeye’s blackberry cellphone valued at K4.000 while armed.

Hamamba was acquitted by the Lusaka High Court after being found not guilty to the alleged charges. The UPND member now wants compensation from the State for false imprisonment.

According to his statement of claim, Hamamba said he was on October 8, 2017 arrested by the State’s servants on the charge of aggravated robbery.

He indicated that the State was liable for the malicious acts of the police officers whose identification or descriptions were unknown to him but were acting under direction and control in the performance or purported performance of their duties.

Hamamba stated that he was without reasonable and plausible cause apprehended and was wrongly arrested for two counts of aggravated robbery and the burden lay on the State to justify the act of apprehending him.

He said there was no reasonable grounds for suspecting that he committed the offence of aggravated robbery and that on the premise, he was falsely imprisoned by the State for a period of more than 300 days from October 8, 2017 to July 19, 2018.

Hamamba clarified that he did not commit aggravated robbery and there was no direct evidence linking him to the offence or that he participated in the crime and the place where he was apprehended from.

“The plaintiff was then transferred to Lusaka correctional facility at which he was held until his release when Lusaka High Court judge Catherine Phiri found him not guilty and accordingly acquitted him on July 18, 2028 after trial,” Hamba stated.

Hamamba contended that he had as a result suffered embarrassment, humiliation and damage to his personal reputation and business image and good will and further loss of freedom and rights during the period of incarceration.

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