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They confined me in a cell with urine, faeces for 5 days – HH

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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I slept on a cold floor for five days when they knew I had not committed a crime, complains Hakainde Hichilema.

In a brief narration of his life behind bars since his incarceration two weeks ago at Lusaka Central Prison, the UPND leader complained that he did not understand why he was being treated in an inhuman way when investigations ought to have been conducted first before arresting him.

“You arrest a citizen who has not committed a crime, you arrest them, you destroy their property, you vandalise their property, you gas them with poisonous gas for 15 hours from 21:00 hours to 11:00 hours in the morning the following day, (someone) you know is innocent out of hatred! Out of dictatorship, you arrest a citizen and throw them in solitary confinement in a cell with faecal matter, urine, faeces in there for five days I was being tortured. They brought in people unknown to me late in the night when I was not allowed visitors, not even my wife. I slept on the floor for five days, on a cold floor when they knew I had not committed a crime,” Hichilema said.

He said the State should have investigated the matter first before arresting him.

“This is hatred, this is hegemonic. Then you go and arrest my relatives in Mongu, all these are my relatives, out of the thousands of people that were there on a road. They were probably three to 400 vehicles. He bypassed three to 400 vehicles when he was coming from behind and he chooses me out of the 400 vehicles and occupants and charges me for treason! This is inhuman, this is dictatorship,” said Hichilema.

And his wife Mutinta said the continuous detention of her husband was politically motivated.

“They just want to keep him out of circulation and we know the motive behind this. They want to kill UPND by detaining its leader,” said Mutinta.

When the matter came up on Wednesday for ruling on preliminary issues raised by the defence, among them that the treason charge should be quashed, Lusaka magistrate Greenwell Malumani said the treason charge was bad at law and that “a bad charge is no charge at all” but indicated that he did not have powers to quash it.

Magistrate Malumani also said a bad charge cannot be amended, although he allowed the State to submit a fresh indictment of treason against Hichilema which would be heard in the High Court.

The State however produced the indictment accompanying other charges with an addition of overt acts allegedly committed by Hichilema on which they say the treason charge should be sustained.

In Overt Act one, the state claimed that on April 5, Hichilema, together with others, conspired to mobilise an advance party to ensure that he was to be accorded the status of President of the Republic of Zambia at the Kuomboka Ceremony in Mongu.

In Overt Act two, the state submitted that on April 8, Hichilema and over 60 other unknown people and being on a convoy of motor vehicles on the Mongu Limulunga Road did obstruct the presidential motorcade, an act that was likely to cause death or grievous harm to the President of the Republic of Zambia, in order to usurp the executive power of the state – Mast Newspaper.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31