CENTER FOR DIALOGUE DEFENDS ONGOING STATE COMPENSATIONS OF UPND ALIGNED MEMBERS
By Nonhlanhla Phuti
The Center for Dialogue has defended the ongoing state compensations of UPND aligned plaintiffs, saying law enforcers are to blame for the unlawful arrests they effected on those being compensated.
So far, Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali has been awarded K450, 000 by the Lusaka High Court on account of the trauma he suffered when a gun was pointed at him in 2020, UPND Lusaka Provincial Chairperson Obvious Mwaliteta And James Sichomba were awarded K900, 000 each as compensation for wrongful prosecution and UPND National Chairperson For Special Duties, William Banda has commenced civil proceedings against the state in the Lusaka High Court demanding K3 million for unlawful imprisonment.
In an interview with Phoenix News, Center for Dialogue Executive Director Caroline Katotobwe says the consent judgements and compensations that the country is currently witnessing are expected following the restoration of the rule of law.
Ms. Katotobwe states that anyone that has suffered at the hands of law enforcers in any democratic state should be compensated despite their political affiliation.
She has however urged law enforcers going forward, to be careful when handling citizens before making an arrest to avoid a repeat in future adding that law enforcers who executed their duties unjustly should be held accountable.
Meanwhile, Opposition People’s Alliance for Change Leader Andyford Banda says politically motivated arrests have the potential to set a detrimental precedent for the country.
Reacting to the court’s consent judgments between government and UPND litigants, as well as the acquittal of Zumani Zimba, former president Edgar Lungu’s political advisor, Mr. Banda says it is unfortunate that the ruling UNPD despite being voted on the premise of formulating reforms and upholding of rule of law, the current happenings are unjustified and disappointing.
Mr. Banda is advocating for the implementation of reforms within the current legal system and the police service.
And Political Scientist Professor Bizeck Phiri has urged judges in the courts to detach themselves from political actors, so that they make decisions solely based on the evidence presented before them without political hands.