Saturday, June 15, 2024

UPND Government Critics Demand Answers: Why Hasn’t Dr. Chris Zumani Zimba Been Granted Bail or Taken to Court?

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By Peters Bwalya

Introduction

The recent arrest and prolonged detention of Dr. Chris Zumani Zimba, a former state house special advisor to the president of Zambia, on charges of possession of articles for terrorism, has raised concerns among civil society organizations and legal experts. With Dr. Zimba being held in custody for over ten days without being taken to court, questions are being raised regarding the adherence to due process and the protection of human rights. This article explores the different perspectives surrounding Dr. Zimba’s case and the implications it has for the rule of law in Zambia.

Police Spokesperson’s Statement:

Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga has clarified that it is not the mandate of the police to take a suspect directly to court but rather the responsibility of the national prosecution authority. Furthermore, Hamoonga mentioned that the charge Dr. Zimba is facing is non-bailable, indicating that he may not be eligible for release on bail while awaiting trial.

Expert Opinion:

However, an expert in legal matters argues that Dr. Zimba and the three other individuals arrested with him should be eligible for bail. The expert highlights that the offense allegedly occurred in 2021, while the amendment to the Anti-Terrorism and Non-Proliferation Act, which introduced non-bailable charges, only took place in 2023. According to the expert, retroactively applying the 2023 amendment to offenses committed prior to its enactment would require explicit authorization by law.

SACCORD’s Appeal:

The Southern African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has expressed concern over the delay in taking Dr. Zimba to court. SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe emphasizes that Dr. Zimba is still considered a suspect and has not been found guilty of any crime. Cheembe appeals to the police to uphold the principles of justice and promptly bring Dr. Zimba to court to defend himself.

Mr Cheembe further highlights President Hakainde Hichilema’s emphasis on thorough investigations before arrests to protect individuals’ human rights. However, in Dr. Zimba’s case, the extended period of incarceration without being granted bail or taken to court raises concerns about the violation of his right to justice.

Zambians for Unity Peace and Development’s Reaction:

The Zambians for Unity Peace and Development organization expresses sadness and disappointment over Dr. Zimba’s continued detention without being presented in court. The organization’s president, Ronnie Jeremy, criticizes the authorities for keeping Dr. Zimba in custody for more than the stipulated 48 hours without a court appearance. Jeremy views this as an abuse of authority and a violation of both the Zambian constitution and Dr. Zimba’s human rights.

Mr Jeremy also points out the contradiction between the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and the extended detention of Dr. Zimba. He calls for adherence to policy pronouncements made by President Hichilema, urging law enforcement agencies to either release Dr. Zimba on bond or bring him to court so that he can apply for bail.

Conclusion:

The case of Dr. Chris Zumani Zimba, who faces charges related to possession of articles for terrorism, has ignited concerns about the delayed court appearance and extended incarceration without bail. As civil society organizations and legal experts raise questions about the adherence to due process and the protection of human rights, it remains crucial for the authorities to address these concerns promptly. Upholding the principles of justice and ensuring fair treatment of suspects is vital for maintaining the rule of law and preserving the constitutional rights of individuals in Zambia.

15 COMMENTS

  1. OP is a job for life. Even after I left, I am still trusted by officers and receive intelligence. They are trying to kill my brother zumani. They tried to kill me when I was arrested. Remember I was poisoned and got a very bad stomach. But I survived because I am the terminator and cia1.

  2. We fought against detention without trial. Detention without charge. Noone should be detained without being charged in 24 hours. Citizens fought for rights that police or political parties should not interfere with. But here comes the new dawn. Doing exactly what their predecessors did. What a New Doom!

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    • And some foolish policeman Rae Hamoonga has been reported elsewhere saying that it is not police’s job to take a suspect to court. Its the NPA, he says. Why are you splitting your responsibilities? This has never happened before. Anyone can see you are waiting for political orders. This isnt a criminal case. It is political. If Police cant take him to court dont arrest him. I must point out I never liked this guy when he was Lungu’s assistant but he is a citizen and he has rights. We are all interested in those rights. We are interested in justice

  3. Charge of terrorism is unbailable. Simpo.

    It is a capital crime, right up there next to treason.

    Mukose ba fikala. People died during the gassing acts of terrorism master-minded by you know who so they could blame HH.

    MWA NYALA.

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    • Where is the charge? It should be read out in a court not in secret UPND meetings. Our constitution stipulates how long someone can be detained before being brought to court. Why are you dilly dallying in bringing him to court? Because you have no case period.

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  4. At least ZP should have issued a statement as to why this man has not been granted bail or taken to court to avoid all forms of speculation.

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    • They are busy concocting fake charges. They know alibe mulandu and they will just make him rich if he sues

  5. When detention goes past the normal due time it is an indication that the case is weak and cannot stand
    in court.
    The NPA has obviously advised the police that the case is weak as being in pocession of articles of terrorism
    is not terrorism in itself.
    The court is not a police station both sides are heard without duress.
    They have no option but to release the man without charge.

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  6. I never liked this guy when he was Lungu’s assistant because he hurriedly deleted his criticism of Lungu as soon as he was appointed to State House reflecting turncoatism. However, he is a citizen and he has rights. We are all interested in those rights. We are interested in justice. This can happen to any of us

  7. And some foolish policeman Rae Hamoonga has been reported elsewhere saying that it is not police’s job to take a suspect to court. Its the NPA, he says. Why are you splitting your responsibilities? This has never happened before. Anyone can see you are waiting for political orders. This isnt a criminal case. It is political. If Police cant take him to court dont arrest him.

  8. We are in a Banana Republic. Whenever UPND delays to take someone to court, just know that they do not have any evidence. Just look at the case of Mumbi Phiri locked up for one year without any evidence. They tried to cook evidence and intimidate witnesses but failed.

  9. Kaizar Zulu claims to be terminator (as above).
    Now, when President Sata fired him, it was reported By President Sata on one of the days he was appointing some persons that a person he faired was found at State house. Why?
    President Sata was told that he was following his friend who was President Sata’s nephew by the name … elephant with tusks protruding.
    Now we know that KZ is Terminator. PF should that asking questions and get to the bottom of things.

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