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Mukuni’s aide, UPND members sue for false imprisonment over City Market burning

[By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone]

SENIOR Chief Mukuni’s aide Clifford Sitali, two Livingstone UPND members and six others are seeking compensation for unlawful detention, torture and inhuman treatment by the Zambia Police on an allegation that they were behind the burning of City Market in Lusaka.

The two UPND members are Kayata Zhinga and Mulenga Chileshe while the others are Wonder Makazuka, Mainza Chongo, James Hambulo, Jamps Jeromi Hambulu, Biggy Mubanga and David Samba.

They have sued the State through the Attorney General’s office through their lawyer Dr Clement Andeleki of A. Mbambala Legal Practitioners.

Dr Andeleki, who is also Katombora UPND member of parliament, said the plaintiffs shall testify before court that they were threatened to be killed if they did not help the Zambia Police apprehend the suspects who burnt City Market in Lusaka.

He said that the plaintiffs shall aver at trial that they were: “detained without charge for 112 days or being brought before a court of competent jurisdiction. The plaintiffs shall aver at trial that they were released unconditionally on the 3rd day of November 2017 (after being arrested on July 17, 2017) without charge or appearing before a court of law.”

Dr Andeleki said his clients were arrested on July 12, 2017 and bundled up in a Zambia Police Land Cruiser by police officers in Livingstone and locked up at various formations.

“That includes Livingstone Central Police Station, the Airport Police Post, the Zambia Air Force detention facility, Linda Police Station, Dambwa Central Police Post and Libuyu Police Station on allegations of burning City Market in Lusaka. The plaintiffs shall aver at trial that during their period of detention they were badly beaten, tortured and starved by the Zambia Police officers,” Dr Andeleki said.

He added that the plaintiffs shall also aver at trial that during their detention in Livingstone, they were subjected to late night continuous interrogations and electric torture to solicit information relating to who burnt City Market in Lusaka which information and evidence they did not possess.

Dr Andeleki added that the plaintiffs shall aver at trial that they were, during their detention and interrogation, blindfolded so that they did not see the officers who were interrogating them.

“The plaintiffs shall aver at trial that after a few days of detention in the various formations in Livingstone, they were airlifted to Lusaka while being blindfolded in a vessel that appeared to be a helicopter and throughout the flight they were blindfolded,” he said.

He added that they shall also reveal that upon arrival at a destination that they later came to know to be Lusaka, they were driven in a motor vehicle to various formations that they later learnt to be Chelstone, Kabwata Chilenje and Lilayi police stations.

“The plaintiffs shall aver at trial that the conditions for which they were detained in the various formations were pathetic, inhuman and degrading as the facilities had no sanitation facilities,” Dr Andeleki said.

He said as a result of their detention and torture, his clients had suffered loss, injury and damage both to their reputation and personality.

“The plaintiffs shall aver at trial that the Zambia Police Service has no lawful authority to detain them for such a period without charge or being brought before a court of competent justification,” Dr Andeleki said.

He said his clients shall testify that the decision to detain them without the due process of the law was malafide, deliberate and calculated at imposing extrajudicial means of punishing them outside the provisions of the law.

“The plaintiffs shall aver at trial that at no point have they ever had anything to do with the burning of City Market in Lusaka…as a result of the malicious arrest, the plaintiffs’ reputations have been tarnished in the minds of the right thinking members of society,” Dr Andeleki said.

Dr Andeleki prayed the court to declare that his plaintiffs’ detention for 112 days without charge or being taken to court was illegal and amounted to false imprisonment.

He also asked the court to declare that the Zambia Police Service had no lawful authority to detain his plaintiffs without charge for more than 48 hours and that it was illegal and order for exemplary damages.

“Damages for torture and inhuman treatment; an order for interest on all payments due until full settlement; an order for costs for and incidental to these proceedings and any other relief the court may deem fit,” demanded Dr Andeleki.

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