Br GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
TWENTY-EIGHT United Party for National Development members have taken Government to court in three separate lawsuits demanding a sum total of about K25 million as compensation for false imprisonment.
According to documents filed in the Lusaka High Court by their lawyers, HBM Advocates, the 28 were accused of different offences which include riotous behaviour, unlawful assembly and being found in possession of seditious materials but were acquitted.
Mulowa Amupwela and seven others state that on July 1, 2016, they were attacked by PF cadres while putting up campaign posters along Cairo Road, Lusaka.
Amupwela said when they went to report the matter to Lusaka Central Police Station, they were again attacked by PF sympathisers in the presence of Police.
He said the Police turned on them and charged them of being in possession of seditious materials contrary to Section 57(1) (a) and (2) of Chapter 87 of the Zambian laws. They stayed at Lusaka Central for a week and then remanded at Lusaka Remand Prison.
Amupwela said they were only taken to court on August 26 and granted bail pending trial. They appeared in court and were acquitted in January 2017.
The eight claim K453, 243 each for a month-long false imprisonment and another K438, 200 each for malicious prosecution.
They claim K4, 175 each for mental anguish and interest of 15 percent from the date of their arrest until full payment is made and also legal fees estimated at K689, 456. In the second lawsuit, Lubinda Simonda and nine others were arrested for riotous behaviour on December 15, 2016 and granted bail on January 17, 2017. They were however acquitted on May 20, 2017.
The 10 claim K453, 243 each for false imprisonment, K438, 200 each for malicious prosecution and damages for mental anguish of K4, 175 each. They also demand 15 percent from the date of their arrest until full payment is made and also legal fees estimated at K689, 456. In another lawsuit, Maxwell Malambe and nine others who were arrested for unlawful assembly on December 16, 2016 and acquitted on August 29, 2017 demand K472, 834 each for false imprisonment, K464, 417 as damages for malicious prosecution and K8, 416 for mental anguish.
Government should also compensate them 15 percent interest from the date of their arrest until full payment is made and also legal fees estimated at K689, 456.