A Police Chief Inspector has testified in the Lusaka Magistrate Court that the fire tender protesters were within the confinement of the law, despite the arrest.
Charles Hamoya, 48, Chief Inspector stationed at Chelston Police Station testified that he was only acting on the orders given to him by his superior to arrest the fire tender protesters last year.
This is the matter in which Alliance for Community Action Laura Miti, PeP president Sean Tembo, Zambia Council for Social Development executive director Lewis Mwape, Fumba Chama (Pilato), Bornwell Mwewa and Mika Mwambazi, are charged with one count of disobeying lawful orders.
The accused were nabbed outside Parliament building in Lusaka on September 29, 2017 as they were protesting government’s purchase of 42 fire trucks at US$42 million.
When the matter came up for continuation of trial before magistrate Mwaka Mikalile, Monday, Friday, Hamoya, the officer who arrested Pilato said he was assigned to work at Parliament building to instil law and order and ensure that there was peace.
“I saw a lot of people insisting to enter Parliament gates without invitation cards. I went to offer back up force to other police officers manning the gate when Chief Inspector (Anthony) Phiri ordered me to arrest the six people saying they were not following orders,” he said.
Hamoya said it was at that point that he, with other policemen charged on the protesters and conducted an arrest.
However when asked to identify the protesters, Hamoya pointed at a different suspect and referred to him as Bonwell Mwewa.
He however identified Chama Fumba and Mika Mwambazi.
And Hamoya said he was not aware that the protesters applied for a permit, adding that he was only seeing the letters of notice written by Laura Miti and addressed to the Commissioner of Police, in court.
He said he was not aware of the same letter which was earlier tendered in as evidence in the previous court session.
Meanwhile Hamoya said, in cross examination, that the fire tender protesters were within the confinement of the law, despite the arrest.
He testified that he was only acting on the orders given to him by his superior to arrest the fire tender protesters last year.
The matter was adjourned to September 24 and October 4, 2018.