The United Party for National Development (UPND) has written to the Law Association of Zambia, Human Rights Commission, and Church Mother Bodies for intervention into the arrest without formal charge of four of its members for more than the required 48 hours.
Addressing the Press at the UPND secretariat yesterday morning, party Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa expressed concern at the continued detention of former local government Minister Ackson Sejani, Choma Mayor Javan Simoloka, Mazabuka Mayor Vincent Lilanda, and Choma businessman Fines Malambo without any formal arrest and charge.
“Further to the subject above, we write to register our great concern over the continued arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial detention of our members by the Patriotic Front administration using the Zambia Police,” he said.
Mr. Mweetwa who is also lawyer for the detainees said the detention of persons under the suspicion of Commissioning of a crime was a clear violation of the Zambian Constitution, saying Article 18 of the Zambian Constitution provides for the Presumption of Innocence of individuals.
“The Zambian Constitution in terms of Article 18 provides for Presumption of Innocence to all persons held by Police for the commission of a crime. Section 33 of the Criminal Procedure Cap 88 of the laws of Zambia provides that a person taken in custody has to be brought before the court within 24 hours of his detention. The manner of arrest and procedure are contained in Article 18,” said Counsel Mweetwa.