By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA
A Rufunsa farmer has sued the State, demanding compensation for allegedly slaughtering his pregnant cows.
Mr Joe Enipa Daka said the police used the proceeds from his cows to repair a motor vehicle belonging to Chongwe Police Station.
The farmer now wants the Lusaka High Court to order the State to compensate him for the three slaughtered pregnant cows and one missing pregnant cow.
Mr Daka wants the State to pay him damages, interest on the sum awarded, costs of and incidental to the action.
He has cited the Attorney General as a defendant in the matter.
In his claim, Mr Daka stated that around December 25, 2009, his herdsman was out heading cattle on his farm in Rufunsa when it began to rain heavily.
The shepherd was unable to herd four cows to the Kraal owing to their pregnant state.
Mr Daka stated that the herdsman did not find the four cows when he returned to the place where they had been secured, prompting him to launch a search.
He reported the matter to Chief Bundabunda.
The plaintiff said in February 2010, the missing cows were reportedly spotted in Sinjela area but he was unable to locate the missing cows when he followed up on the lead.
Mr Daka stated that in March 2010, it was discovered that a woman was in possession of one of the cows while the other three had allegedly been slaughtered by the police about two weeks after they went missing in January 2010.
He said that his attempts to identify the woman and secure the surviving cow which had since birthed a calf failed as she vanished after being allegedly assisted to relocate from the area by one police officer, a Mr Walawala.
Mr Daka said he enquired with the Chongwe Police Station where he was told that the police had authority to dispose of the animals if the owner could not be found.
He said he was told that the cows were slaughtered to raise funds for repair of motor vehicle at the police station.
Mr Daka stated that the enquiries proved futile, prompting him to file a complaint against a Mr Phiri with the Judicial Complaints Commission in June 2010.
Mr Daka stated that the defendants’ actions and unjustified use of the proceeds realised from the sale of the carcasses has resulted in a reduction in the number of his cattle and caused him loss and damage.