Advocates for National Development and Democracy (ANDD) are calling for the immediate court appearance and release on bail of former State House Political Advisor, Dr. Chris Zumani Zimba, who has been charged with possession of articles for terrorism or proliferation purposes. The ANDD Executive Director, Samuel Banda, argues that the offense was bailable until this year when the law was amended.
According to Mr. Banda, the alleged acts committed by Mr. Zimba and others took place in 2020 when the offense was bailable. He contends that the recently amended law, which was made in 2023, cannot be applied retrospectively to acts allegedly committed in 2020, rendering them unbailable. Mr. Banda emphasizes that President Hakainde Hichilema has consistently demanded that law enforcement agencies arrest individuals only after a thorough investigation and grant bail to those entitled to it. He urges the police to adhere to the president’s policy guidance and proceed with taking Mr. Zimba to court.
Last week, Police in Lusaka arrested Dr. Christopher Zumani Zimba (43) of farm number 100 in Chongwe, along with Given Phiri (37) of an unknown house number in Misisi Compound, Marlone Banda (36) of Plot number 811 in the 12 miles area, and Portipher Gwai (44) of Plot number 194/17 Mutendere Compound in Lusaka. The four individuals were jointly charged with the possession of articles for terrorism.
Zambia Police Spokesperson, Rea Hamoonga, revealed that the accused have been charged under Section 25 of the Anti-terrorism Act number 6 of 2018, as read with Section 2 of the Amended Anti-terrorism Act number 6 of 2023. It is alleged that the accused, in collaboration with others yet to be identified, possessed offensive articles, including Deep 600 and Halothane, with the intention to endanger lives. The incident reportedly occurred in February 2020 in the Petauke District of the Eastern Province.
Currently, the accused are detained in police custody and are expected to appear in court in the near future.
Halothane, one of the substances mentioned in connection with the case, is a controlled drug used as a general inhalation anesthetic during the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Pharmacist Jerome Kanyika explains that exposure to Halothane can result in dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, and even loss of consciousness.
The police have emphasized their commitment to the case, with Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga confirming the joint charges and arrests. The accused are now awaiting their day in court to answer to the charges brought against them.