Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How I spent my time in Police Custody, Human Rights need to be Re-Enforced-Tayali


Chilufya Tayali back at home
Chilufya Tayali back at home

From the verbal aggressiveness of the Police, it was clear that, I was going in for a long haul of Easter holiday. I could tell that Bond was out of question so, I never bothered to even ask for it.

Being a man of faith, I accept whatever comes my way as if God has prescribed it for me for a purpose. So, I entered the cells with a positive attitude and open mind.

When I entered the cells, I was nicely welcomed by the inmates; among them were the four close associates (not cadres) of HH. Basically, I would not consider them as politicians because the 3 of them just work for HH like Amos Chanda. However, it is common practice that, you can’t work with a politician if you are not a party sympathizer.

The other guy can be considered as a close friend of HH who had gone to visit him at his House but caught-up in the ambush.

Two of them were charged with Treason while the rest were in for Obstruction of Justice when the police were conducting an illegal raid at HH’s house. I wonder who should be charged between one who is conducting and illegality and those were pleading for legality.

I really enjoyed the interaction and care I received from these gentlemen. Somehow, I feel like dropping my love for Eastern women and go Southwards because, Tonga women showed me that, they know how to care and love.

Our cells are usually overcrowded but not with real criminals who rob people at gun point, or the corrupt who have brought and sustained poverty in Zambia.

The most unfortunate, is that, the majority of the people in police holdings are young between the age of 16 to 23 years, at least these were the ones I found at Kabwata but I also spoke to the frequent offenders.

Many police officers, seem to enjoy their abuse of power to lock up people like treasury bond, which mature with the longevity. The longer people stay in cells, the more desperate they become to get out and they are ready to either pay a fortune or succumb to their oppressors, like in my case.

At times the cells are so full that, even sitting is a problem. Sleeping is always a nightmare, awashed by a strong stench from the filthy toilet without water. Inmates do not have the luxury of stretching legs while sitting or sleeping, unless you stand.

I found mostly liked to stand even at night because it was the only comfortable posture I could get. I adopted this habit because it kept my mind active and when I get tired, I could sleep for at least two hours.

This year, I have been so religious in following the mysteries (or events) of the life of Jesus so being locked up on Thursday before Good Friday, was an opportunity to share in the passion of Christ. I prayed most of the time and I shared the Pascal mysteries with my fellow inmates.

We usually prayed in the morning and in the evening. Standing up in the middle of the 2 x 3.5 meters cell parked with about 24 people, sited like squeezed bags of maize, was the best times of my time in the cells because it felt like the purpose of my presence among them. I gave them hope and spoke about God’s love as I we reflected on the suffering and resurrection of Jesus.

I shed tears on the second day (Good Friday), because one of my children (not biological but orphan) who is 11 years old wrote me a letter expressing her emotions. This girl had just come home for holidays after closing school with best results at the entire school, when the police called me to Northmead to arrest me.

The police officer who called me cheated that, they had one of the street kids in custody so I rushed there before we could even eat lunch with these two children I had just brought home.

This daughter of mine, said that, she wished, Easter would be different being with me at home, unfortunately those with powers had their plans. My tears, just don’t drop.

Unfortunately, my biological (two girls) children were among the last ones to know about my arrest. I don’t want to subject my children to stress when I am going through difficulties but I always want them to live the realities of life, unless, it is beyond their age and it would not spill in the public. I don’t want my children to hear anything about their father on News.

My street children, heard of my arrest and they launched a search to find me. They moved four police stations (Longacres, Kamwala, Town centre and Kabwata) on foot. They carried with them Bread and juice from the shop near my house, where we last got food on credit when I had no money.

Unfortunately, they could not see me at Kabwata because the police did not allow them. This morning they came and it was all joy as we laughed about their search and their attempt to go to a witchdoctor to secure my release using juju.

In cells, some people are sick and they get worse due to over crowdedness and negligence of some police officers. During my six days, we had 5 cases, two of which were HIV/AIDS related, one was epilepsy, the other one was fever. One boy had skin problem (like scabies) and two were badly beaten by the police and a mob.

Thanks to the officer-in-charge who responded positively to take one of the badly beaten to the clinic in the night while the rest, received little attention, especially the epileptic and HIV/AIDS patients who need to take medicines at specific times with a good diet. Likely, one was released on before I left.

The situation is really bad and I wish the police would be more professional in the way they handle their work because I think the congestion is owed that. Civil cases of debt, defamation, marital, personal conflicts among others, end up with people being locked up in cells by the police.

The human rights also, seem to be handicapped such that, the police don’t even fear to do wrong things. Somehow, Human rights need to be capacitated and effectively deal with human rights abuses otherwise, bad police officers, like Mwami One are having a field day locking up people at whim.

I am glad that I spent those days in the cells because I have hands-on information and if I will ever lead this Country, I will know exactly what to do. Without Mwami One putting me in there for 6 days, I would have not known, therefore, thanks Mwami One. I am certain that, whatever happens in future, I am the one that gained out of the experience.

Economic and Equity Party (EEP) is really being prepared nicely to look after the plight of people and I ask for your prayers that God will give us a chance to hold power and do the right thing. I am human, and they say, power corrupts but with your prayers, I can do the right thing to change Zambia for the better.

I shall talk about my experience at Kamwala remand Prison later.


  1. Zambia needs to be re-colonised, just like Zim and Uganda. The bumz in power are such a disgrace

    • Just because you cannot run your own home does not mean Zambia is stagnant. Maybe someone should Re-colonize your house.

    • Tayali you are spoiling to be sent back. Sit down in one of those hideous black chairs in your house and take a nap!

    • is this supposed to be a leader of an opposition party? My my talking about issues usually discussed in bars?
      No objective things but stories.

    • So Chilufya was put in there to snitch. How is it a coincidence that he was put in the same cells as HH’s co-accused?

    • Re-colonised by whom? why dont you say that to our Grandfather or mother and see what happens..study about self before you spew out rubbish.

    • This story is so disheartening that I’ll seek solace from telling you, Tayali, not to segregate your children by calling them biological or adopted. They are all your children. God bless.

  2. Thank you for this information. It gives us a clear idea of the conditions in the cells and the sort of people that are there. You are right, the HRC needs to take an active interest to visit police cells and help people that are wrongly detained. This will also help educate the police officers who don’t understand the law.

  3. I am glad that you have taken a positive approach to this ordeal and you have emerged the winner. The person who unfairly locked you up is hating with guilty now. They are having sleepless nights and they can’t understand why. Stick to what is true and you will be amazed how much peace and joy you will have. It’s better than doing what you were doing in the run up to last election just for a slice of bread. Use your gift to speak for the poor and the vulnerable and God will reward you. You are such a courageous and gifted person. God bless you.

  4. There is no Human rights commission in Zambia. Forget it. The Police cells in Zambia are hell. If we had serious council health inspectors and a serious human rights commission, Police were not going to be allowed to keep people in custody. It is pathetic, and these are innocent till proven guilty. How do you explain the ZAF officer who died in Police custody, this was a minor traffic offence for crying out loud and you take somebody into an already congested cell for a minor traffic offence

  5. In this situation you found yourself after toying with your power obsessed buddies, ask yourself are they done with you and what the hell did they spray on your private parts? This government is now bearing the hall marks of M7,ask yourself are you going to survive the impeding beatings and arrests?This is definitely what happens in rogue states where government goes after political bloggers.In Uganda bloggers just disappear and they are never heared of.You tested what it feels like to be a political prisoner.Next time you are picked over a conspiracy theory,pinch yourself and remember you are in Africa where freedom of speech is defined as being limited to praising the government of the day.Can your crazy leaders survive the media assault that leaders of the free world go through?Can…

  6. Tayali, you are free to grab as many Tonga women as you want. Our well disciplined women from the East do not need men like you!

  7. Zambia is finished. It is sad but that is the situation of cells in Zambia under illegal pf the prisons commission just has pf cadres siphoning funds. It is a sad day

  8. Tayali, you must acknowledge the reason you were picked up. You talk of Human Rights when you insulted and libelled an innocent senior official! Why do you people pose in front of citizens like Kings but refuse the responsibilities that go with those roles. You need to show a higher conduct, your position does not hold you above the law.

    It’s good you prayed, but where in the Bible does it say, you are free to speak falsities and libel your neighbour! I’ve been reading the opposite meaning to that in the Bible. Stand for your errors. IF YOU CAN’t afford to do time in prison, then don’t commit the crime. Suck it up. What’s with the Eastern and Tonga Women? Your sartorial colour choices for your cushions ( furry bright Orange), must be more of a turn on to To Tonga Women!…

    • Hahahaha Africans,over a FB conspiracy theory.If the FBI goes on arresting all nutters on internet ranting about conspiracies some of them as crazy as even attempting to jump into the white house they will arrest a lot of lonely guys in the basement,all they have is a computer for company.This looney tune of libel must be dismissed with utmost redicule it deserves.This is extremely ludicrous.Hahaha you all nuts.The all lot of security can sieve through which information poses risk and which is just nonsense.YOU ARE ALL CLOWNS.

  9. This is hardest job you have done as a spy going convert. Bumper harvest is probably already in your account. Tayali you have always been a snitch and being a snitch always pays well temporally until the prats you are working for run out of crazy ideas. You have always been inconsistent with issues more on par like Lungu. Kaizer is just an excited little s..t that is excited for nothing due to gullibility of the majority gullible. So sit down and shut up or should I say, welcome to Zambia where 1d10ts like you and glorified?

  10. I wonder what are the terms of reference for the Human Rights Commission. Is it just expression shock and disgust when they hear and even witness abuses or they counter some of these grave human rights abuses? Just wondering and feeling disappointed.

  11. Fooolish incompetent IG is going to regret locking up this boy as everything will be exposed now…here is an IG who is more interested in procuring expensive anti riot machinery instead of improving overall conditions. Good tactic Tayali

  12. GBM told you on your phone recording that you are nothing but a selfish boy who enjoys hand outs am sure you’ve not been getting what you want so you trying to find a way to get into UPND. I hope GBM’s words will be kept that they don’t need people like you. Going to jail won’t make you a hero .

  13. Tayal, one Great Micheal Sata was in prison for over a month and on several occasions…not even a day when he became president did he ever go back to look at the plight of those prisoners. Please dont lie to us…..you politicians are all the same

  14. Only a dull person wouldn’t understand what Tayali is trying to share. Imagine some person in Zambia would are in prison when they are innocent? We need to think before we become negative.

  15. What a facade you are spinning off Tayali. if you are going to lead in anything, you cant scream how high? at the command ‘Jump’. You were lured to be locked up before you could even eat your lunch? And once there you were joyous for the experience of Easter incarcaration , you spread your ministry and embarked on your Phd dessertation part two of which will enumerate your prison stint. As you are so thankful for the experience, it is highly recommended that you go back for the longest time to devise an actual agenda for the equity party and formulate modern ideas for Policing as well as devise new age designs for cells and prisons Mr future President! Eat your lunch first, next time.

  16. Police custody for libel! What a hopeless country! A democracy that stifles freedom of speech. It’s even worse than a state of emergency

  17. I wish some of these loud mouth yapping activists about human rights and condition of cells in Zambia were sent to Guantanamo. May be the reports then would be quite balanced.

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