By Edwin Mbulo in Mazabuka

THE level of impunity on the part of the State amounts to flagrant violation of human rights, Clement Andeleki tells judge Kenneth Mulife.

And Livingstone High Court judge Mulife, sitting in Mazabuka, has granted Ackson Sejani, Choma businessman Fines Malambo, Choma and Mazabuka mayors Javen Somoloka and Vincent Lilanda respectively leave to proceed with their habeas corpus application.

In his submission after justice Mulife granted Sejani and three others leave to proceed with their application, Andeleki of A. Mbambala Legal Practitioners said: “The Supreme Court has from time to time warned the Zambia Police against detaining suspects for purposes of investigations for the duration that is outside the law.”

He then referred to the 1974 judgment in the case of Silungwe Vs the people as reported in The Zambia Law Report on page 130.

“The conduct of the agents of the respondent (Attorney General) in a democracy is highly regrettable and this is also in the conduct of the respondents advocates who have despised the order of this honourable court to appear before it. The level of impunity on the part of the state agents amounts to a flagrant violation of human rights and this court as a defender of human rights and civil liberties is being persuaded to order the immediate and unconditional release of the applicants,” Andeleki said.

He said the police was highly violating with impunity provisions of section 33 of the Criminal Procedure Code Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia.

Andeleki said Sejani and three others have been in detention for 27 days.

Remmy Mainza of Mainza and Company said in pursuant of Order 54 Rule 1 Subsection 2 and 3 of the White Book 1999 edition, Sejani and three others were seeking an order from justice Mulife that they be released.

He said the continued detention of the four was a serious violation of their constitutional rights as set out in the Bill of Rights and referred to Article 11 of the Constitution which states that every person in Zambia is entitled to fundamental rights and freedom to liberty.

“We also wish to refer to Article 22 of the Constitution sub article 1 paragraph A which provides that a citizen shall not be deprived the liberty to movement without justification,” he said.

He added that the Constitution further states that detention of citizens under any law requires that such a person be given a written statement 14 days after the commencement of such a detention.

This prompted justice Mulife to ask if the State had furnished Sejani and three others the reasons for their continued detention to which Mainza said he was not aware adding that if that were the case the Attorney General’s office should have filed such reasons to the court after being served with the writ of habeas corpus.

Cornelius Mweetwa is also representing Sejani, a former cabinet minister, and the three others.

Judge Mulife has since set April 22 for judgment.


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