UPND leader Hakainde Hichilem’s wife Mutinta has narrated how hundreds of police officers stormed the family home in New Kasama and started harassing their workers on Monday night.
“Police didn’t know where HH was.. they beat up all the workers and arrested them. Then they started torturing one worker (or son, I cannot remember) who ended up bringing the cops to the banker entrance. “He is there,” the boy said,” Mutinta narrated.
“What happened is that they just wanted to kill my husband – they wanted to kill my husband! But this war which they have started is like they are sitting on a volcano which is going to erupt and it will be so difficult for them to contain it!
We were in one of the rooms from 22:00 hours [and] they started beating all our workers. All of them (workers) are now in police cells. They tortured them, brutalised them and then they were asking ‘where is your boss?’ At first, the workers didn’t want to say but one of them brought them to our room there. They started beating him and the boy was crying. HH then told me ‘my friend, let me go out because these people are going to kill my workers’ but I said ‘you are not going out [because] it’s you they want. Why do they want to pick you up at 22:00 hours?’,” narrated Mutinta after her husband’s arrest.
She said Police started throwing tear gas there to flush them out but that they didn’t come out.
She said she is asthmatic and she fainted twice and that her husband wanted to open the door and hand himself in, but she stopped him.
“I told him, this is night time… and there are no witnesses here. You don’t know what they can do to you. Wait till day time when there are people and your lawyers,” she said.
Meanwhile, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that his detention is unlawful and unconstitutional.
Mr Hichilema has asked the Lusaka High Court to issue a habeas corpus ordering the State to take him to court to explain why he is being detained without a formal charge and arrest.
A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody.
But Lusaka High Court judge-in-charge Gertrude Chawatama has set today, April 12 for hearing the parties.
According to an affidavit by one of Hichilema’s lawyers Keith Mweemba in this matter where the Attorney General has been cited, Mr Hichilema has stated that his continued detention was unlawful and unconstitutional.
He stated that he was illegally held without just, reasonable and probable cause.
Mr. Hichilema added that the officer-in-charge of Lilayi Police Training College and others who have control of his body should take him to court immediately after receipt of such writ.