A retired Zambia Army colonel has sued the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in the Lusaka High Court, seeking damages for false imprisonment and allegedly impounding and detaining his motor vehicle for over a year.
Beau Chilongo is seeking a declaration that ZRA’s decision to impound his motor vehicle was illegal and beyond its authority and jurisdiction.
He is also seeking an order for compensation for loss of use of his vehicle, damages for false imprisonment, general and special damages, interest and any other relief as the court may deem fit.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Chilongo stated he owned a Toyota Mark II motor vehicle, registration number AB819.
He claimed that on September 30, 2017, nearing midnight, three ZRA officials tailed his Toyota Mark II from the toll gate at Manyumbi to a known lay-by.
Chilongo added that the said officers without just cause, approached him and demanded that he followed them to the ZRA offices at Kapiri Mposhi, in Central Province.
He explained that the motor vehicle in question was a military vehicle which he was in the process of purchasing from the Zambia Army.
“The said officers using two cars, hedged Chilongo’s car in between them and led him to the said offices,” read the statement of claim.
Chilongo claimed that the said officers detained him at their offices for over 13 hours against his will and without giving him any known reason for the detention.
“The plaintiff was falsely imprisoned for no reasonable or probable cause or justification from September 31, around 23:30 hours to October 1, around 07:00 hours, when he was released,” read the statement of claim further.
Chilongo stated that the ZRA officers however detained his motor vehicle without any care or concern as to how he was going to transport himself and his goods to his destination.
He added that the motor vehicle in question did not fall under ZRA’s jurisdiction.
Chilongo claimed that the said motor vehicle was detained by ZRA for over a year from September 30, 2017 to about April, this year.
He lamented that he had suffered the loss of use of the motor vehicle for the period it was detained and that he had also suffered mental anguish and distress due to the said events.
Chilongo is now seeking an order for compensation for loss of use of his vehicle, damages for false imprisonment, general and special damages, interest and any other relief as the court may deem fit.