Lawyers representing former envoy to Ethiopia, Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba, and Petauke businessman, Rizwan Patel, have lodged a complaint of torture against the Zambian State. The lawyers have demanded reparations, damages for assault and battery, and a written apology from the perpetrators. In the letter addressed to the Attorney General, the lawyers outline the details of the alleged abduction and torture incidents, highlighting the denial of legal representation, lack of access to police stations, and violation of their clients’ rights. They give a 72-hour ultimatum for the demands to be fulfilled, warning of legal action if not met. Copies of the letter were sent to various authorities, including the Inspector General of Police, Police Complaints Commission, and international human rights organizations.
Below is the letter
28th June 2023
The Attorney Generals Chambers
3rd Floor Kent Building
Next to immigration HQ
Dear Sir/ Madam,
RE: COMPLAINT OF TORTURE BY ZAMBIA POLICE- MR. RIZWAAN DAWOOD PATEL
The above-captioned matter refers.
We act for Ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba and Mr.Rizwaan Dawood Patel hence note our interest.
We are informed by our clients that between the 14th June, 2023 and the 23rd June, 2023, our clients were abducted by officers from the Zambia police which officers, In the case of our Ambassador Mwamba, there was a Mr Joseph Kapasa, Mr. Brian Chipango and a Mr. Stephen Simwenda among others who participated in the said abduction.
In the case of Mr Rizwaan Dawood Patel, a Mr Joseph Kapasa led a group of police officers and some that are suspected not to be police offers.
Our Ambassador Mwamba has since reported the matter to Woodlands Police Station and a medical report is in our possession whereas our Mr Rizwaan Dawwod Patel was denied access to any police station for him to make a report.
You may wish to know that over and above the torture that was inflicted on our clients by the police, they were denied the opportunity to have access to legal representation or have a relative present as well as noticed of their whereabouts as the police were moving them up and about whilst they were in police abduction.
The said purported investigations against our client were being led by a Mr Kalala who when confronted at the police in relation to Ambassador Mwamba refused to grant us access or tell us the whereabouts of our client who was in their custody.
The acts of the police who abducted our clients are illegal, unconstitutional and an infringement on our clients’ rights.
And for Mr. Rizwani Patel, he was handed over to the C5 group who took turns in torturing him and beating him.
We therefore demand the following:
1. Adequate Reparations for the torture inflicted on our clients’
2. Damages for Assault and battery
3. Written apology from the officers concerned
By copy of this letter, our clients demands are made known and you have 72 hours within which to fulfil the said demands failing which we shall be left with no option but to take out process against the officers involved and yourselves as legal representative of the government.
Makebi Zulu Advocates
Cc: Inspector General of Police
Cc: Police Complaints Commission
Cc: Attorney General
Cc: Amnesty international
Cc: Africa Human Rights Commission
Cc: United Nations Rapporteur