By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE State has agreed to compensate the five UPND members who were arrested and prosecuted for a charge of treason in 2017 together with President Hakainde Hichilema.
This is according to summons for Consent Judgement filed in the Lusaka High Court on April 14, 2022.
The five to be paid damages are Senior Private Secretary to the President, Wallace Chakawa, Mr Hamusonde Hamaleka, Mr Pretorius Haloba, Mr Laston Mulilanduba and Mr Muleya Hachinda.
In this matter, Mr Hichilema (then as opposition leader) and five others, in May of 2021, commenced the action in the Lusaka High Court that it orders 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 on charges of treason carried out on April 10 and 11 in 2017.
However, proceedings relating to the President have been stayed until he vacates office.
The State has admitted that it is responsible for paying the five damages for unlawful detention, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.
It stated that the five should be paid exemplary damages in respect of the treason charge they faced as well as special damages for loss of income in respect of the entire period of their incarceration.
They should also be paid compensatory damages equivalent in value to the monies and personal belongings lost when they were apprehended by police officers at Mr Hichilema’s home.
And also damages for unlawful detention from April 12 to 18, 2017.
The High Court deputy Registrar is expected to make an assessment of the amount due to the five.