High court Judge Mwila Chitabo S.C has refused to grant leave to 10 UPND cadres who were arrested in Livingstone for arson to apply for habeas corpus. A Habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.
Judge Chitabo says this is because the request being made was not a fit and proper case to grant leave to the Applicants to apply for habeas corpus.In this matter Chileshe Mulenga, Mainza Choongo, Leys Chitoma, and James Hambulo wanted the court to intervene claiming that the police have detained them without a charge.
Others are Wonder Nakazuka, Kahyata Zhyimga, Biggie Mubambe, Justin Mutonga, David Ndumba and Amon Mweemba.In this matter, the applicants had argued that efforts to secure police bond proved futile as the they have not been charged of any known offence.
But the state argued to the contrary saying the suspects have been charged with the offences of Arson and being in possession of dangerous weapons.The Judge noted that the applicants lawyer Martha Mushipe was adducing evidence from the bar.Judge Chitabo observed that it was submitted by Ms Mushipe that the Applicants were on hunger strike, and it was feared they might die.
He said this position contradicts the affidavit evidence where it is alleged that the Applicants are being denied food.Judge Chitabo said contrary to the applicants allegations, a person can only be said to be on hunger strike if he has food which he voluntarily refuses to take.