Lusaka High Court judge Pixie Yangailo has ordered the deputy registrar to asses damages being sought by UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and five others in a matter where they are demanding compensation from the state for false imprisonment.
The six were accused of committing treason when Hichilema’s convoy allegedly failed to give way to President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade on the Mongu-Limulunga road in April 2017.
Justice Yangailo noted that the damages demanded by the plaintiffs do not have a visible amount attached to them, neither are the claims for recompense for unlawful detention, unlawful prosecution, assault and battery, special damages for loss of income during the entire period of their incarceration, and damages for injury measured in monetary value.
Hichilema, Hamusonde Hamaleka, Pretorius Haloba, Wallace Chakawa, Laston Mulilanduba and Muleya Hachinda asked the court to enter judgement in default of appearance and defense against the state but judge Yangailo has ordered that the matter would proceed to trial.
According to an Order dated July 13, 2021, judge Yangailo said, “A perusal of the the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs reveals that the damages sought do not have discernible, quantifiable monetary amount attached to them. The claims sought by the plaintiffs are non-pecuniary damages which must be proved and then assessed by the deputy registrar. Accordingly the Court will issue pre-trial directions of which matter will proceed to trial.”
Scheduling of conference has been slated for September 14, this year.