A search conducted at lawyer Martha Mushipe’s offices situated in the plush Millennium Village Complex in Lusaka last evening yielded nothing.
Ms. Mushipe is one of the key lawyers for the UPND and is currently handling a number of cases for the party including some top officials such as Geoffrey Mwamba.
Police had camped at Mushipe’s offices attempting to search for what they called seditious documents after former UPND member Ephraim Shakafuswa reported to the Police Inspector General that there are documents in Ms. Mushipe’s offices which details how the UPND plans to use violence to take over power.
Home Affairs Minister Davies Chama is believed to have applied for a search warrant on Tuesday authorising officers from the Zambia Police to invade the offices and conduct the search.
However, Ms. Mushipe’s lawyers comprising Jack Mwiimbu and Marshall Muchende then applied to the High Court on grounds that the search would breach lawyer/client relationship which delayed the planned search.
Throughout the week, some UPND youths had also camped at the offices in what they said was a move to protect the interests of the party.
The High Court application was however rejected late Friday which meant that the police officers could begin their search in the presence of Ms. Mushipe’s lawyers and some UPND officials.
The three-hour search however could not find anything seditious even after police officers combed the entire office building.
The only document found was titled “Strategy of Domination PF against opposition UPND 2015-2016 and beyond-UPND at Crossroads-Transition or Conflict/Patriotic Fronts Use of Ethnic Divide and Rule as a means of maintaining political control in Zambia 2015-2016 and beyond”.
The document is said to have been authored by veteran Zimbabwean politician Didymas Mutasa, Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula and General Tendai Muduli.
And in interviews with Journalists after the search, Ms. Mushipe’s lawyer Jack Mwiimbu described the search as the worst form of political intimidation.
Mr Mwiimbu demanded that the Law Association of Zambia must issue a statement on the lawyer Mushipe-clients privacy bleach by police officers.
He said a number of confidential client documents were searched by police officers.
Below is an excerpt from the document found after the search.
TITLE OF DOCUMENT: STRATEGY OF DOMINATION PF AGAINST OPPOSITION UPND 2015-2016 AND BEYOND.
SUB-TITLE: UPND AT CROSSROADS – TRANSITION OR CONFLICT/ PATRIOTIC FRONT’S USE OF ETHNIC DIVIDE AND RULE AS A MEANS OF MAINTAINING POLITICAL CONTROL IN ZAMBIA, 2015-2016 AND BEYOND.
AUTHORS OF DOCUMENT: GEN. TENDAI MUDULI, DR. NGOSA SIMBYAKULA, MR. DYDMUS MUTASA.
DATE PUBLISHED: 23/01/2015.
CLASSIFICATION: HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL.
TOPIC OF THE DAY: STATE SPONSORED VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION.
As a strategic group we found that during the 2015 elections methods employed by our comrades on the ground after assessments and field visits during the pre-election period and the election itself have found that the Team Edgar and Comrade Willie Nsandas/Chungus efforts at theft to be strategic, targeted, systematic and comprehensive. Our conclusion is based upon the following elements which we recommend that should carry on until after the 2016 election.
Since the death of President Michael Sata, our comrades have been in a crisis politically and economically. The framing of his campaign message Edgar Lungu against the opposition UPND within the rhetoric of anti-tribalism has created and will have to continue creating a veil of legitimacy behind which President Lungu will be free to act.
This document is meant to add value to President Lungu’s habitual use of ethnic divide and rule as a self-governing political weapon in Zambia. We further advise President Lungu and his team to develop a two tiered theoretical framework within which the case UPND will be analyzed.
Thereafter the team will analyze three cases in which the late President Sata utilized ethnic divide and rule to neutralize political opposition: the campaign against UPND using Poniso and Siamunene, the decentralization programme and creation of new districts as well as the nullification of Opposition parliamentary seats; and the repression of the United Party for National Development (2011-2014).
The widespread use of violence against UPND general populace, intimidation and coercion will have to form the backbone of the Edgar Lungu’s governments strategy to cow the electorate either into supporting the PF, not supporting the UPND or staying away from the polling stations in the coming parliamentary bye-elections in Mulobezi, Petauke, Malambo and all pending wards.
Opposition supporters will have to be beaten, tortured or even killed, particularly in areas by the PF youth MILITIA wing unleashed to terrorize the electorate into supporting the ruling party.
These actions will be taken with complicity of the Police and with total impunity. Upon the appointment of the new Inspector General of Police and Deputy, make it known to them the Police will have to be openly partial, dismissing crimes by PF as political matters and providing support to the PFs militia wing.