Lawyers have demanded for release of a youth detained for 2 weeks without any charge by Matero Police whom the police and neighbourhood watch group searched his home and collected an insecticide called Doom Blue bought from Choppies Supermarket used to kill cockroaches.
In a demand letter to Officer in Charge of Matero Police copied to Inspector General of Police, lawyers from Japhet Zulu Advocates said their client, Happyson Maiba, while he was peacefully sleeping in his (rented) house in the night of 12th February, 2020, some police officers woke him up and asked him and his housemate to accompany the said officers to Matero police Station.
In an interview with some neighbours at the rented house in Chingwere area, some police officers went into one of the yard they suspected persons they had been chasing after 22:00 hours into, woke up Happyson Maiba who had been sleeping in his rented house, searched the house and collected 5 Sachets of Doom Blue, an insecticide, which they claimed could be chemical used in spraying homes.
Doom Blue is an insecticide killer sold in most retail shops and used to effectively kill garden and household insects such as ants, termites, crickets, wireworms and white grubs on contact. Like any other insecticide, Doom Blue is poisonous.
According to Japhet Zulu advocates, their client had, by 24 February 2020, spent thirteen (13) days without a charge and without being brought before the courts of law as required by the law.
“The actions by the police not only amount to serious breach of our client’s human rights but also amount to contumelious disregard for the rule of law and principles of fairness,” read part of the letter.
The lawyers have said they have instructions from the detainee without charge, Happyson Maiba, to institute Habeas Corpus Proceedings and to bring an action for damages against the Attorney General and officers in their individual capacities for unlawful detention and breach of human rights if their client is not released from custody.
On 13th February, 2020, President Edgar Lungu announced a K250,000 bounty on information leading to the arrest of the suspected criminals.