By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
ALMOST four years after his release from prison on allegations of treason, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has sued the State in the Lusaka High Court seeking damages for invading his home.
Mr Hichilema has sued Government together with party members namely Mr Hamusonde Hamaleka (accountant), Mr Pretorius Haloba (farmer), Mr Wallace Chakawa (farmer), Mr Laston Mulilanduba (businessman) and Mr Muleya Hachinda (businessman) and cited the Attorney General as the defendant in the matter.
According to a statement of claim filed yesterday, Mr Hichilema is claiming damages for trespass including aggravated damages.
He wants the court to order the State to pay compensatory damages equivalent in value to monies lost and the property that was looted, damaged and destroyed at his home during what he termed as an unlawful operation to arrest him carried out on April 10 and 11 in 2017.
Mr Hichilema seeks damages for loss of use of motor vehicles, being Toyota Hilux ALZ 2757 and ALZ 2710 for the periods of 34 and 33 days respectively during which they were under the custody of the State.
And Mr Hamaleka and Mr Chakwa are claiming damages for false imprisonment on April 10 and 11, 2017 when they were apprehended and detained without any reason or explanation.
They want Government to compensate them for their lost belongings when they were apprehended at Mr Hichilema’s home and damages for assault and battery.
Mr Haloba, Mr Hachinda and Mr Mulilanduba are demanding damages for unlawful imprisonment, injury, pain and mental anguish.
In a statement of claim, Mr Hichilema and others claim that on April 10, 2017, the Police forcefully gained entry to his home known as lot no. 10747 in Lusaka where all the six where.
Mr Hamaleka, Mr Haloba and Mr Chakwa were apprehended and detained within the said grounds from about 21:00 hours on April 10 to 02:37 hours the next day without any reason.
They claim to have been repeatedly assaulted by the Police who used fists, kicked them using feet clad in heavy police boots and by using rifle butts, long batons, short batons and other weapons.
The police are alleged to have sprayed them with pepper spray or teargas at close range directly into their eyes, ears, nose, mouths, rectal and private parts.
They experienced temporal loss of hearing, inflamed and painful eyes and private parts, difficulties in breathing and sore throat among other injuries.
Mr Hichilema claimed that the police officers looted cash which was found within his home and defecated on his beddings.
He also alleges that the officers also looted food items, clothing, beddings and other household items.