BABA Mulenga Kabaso, popularly known as Spax, has asked the Lusaka High Court to order for his release, arguing that his continued detention not only infringes his constitutional rights, but also affects thousands of his workers who depend on him for their livelihood.
Kabaso, who has cited the Attorney General and Zambia Police Service as respondents, has further argued that the police are abusing their powers by declining to release or charge him, or take him before a Court following his detention on February 26, this year.
In his affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for grant of leave to issue a writ of habeas corpus Ad subjicienda, Kabaso, through his lawyers, Freddie and Company of Kitwe and Iven Mulenga and Company of Lusaka, stated that his constitutional rights against unlawful detention had been breached and would continue to be infringed.
He added that it was only fair and just that a writ of habeas corpus Ad subjiciendum be issued forthwith to secure his protection under the law.
Kabaso, a businessman, explained that he was apprehended on February 26, by police officers in Chingola on the Copperbelt, who identified themselves as Crime One police officers from Lusaka.
He stated that he was brought to Lusaka on the same day and detained at Chelstone Police Station.
Kabaso stated that while at Chelstone Police, he was kept in a cell throughout and no one was allowed to see him and he was equally not allowed to speak to his advocates.
He added that this was until Saturday, February 29, when he was taken to the Criminal Investigations Officer’s office for purposes of administering a warn and caution statement on suspicion of murder of a Mr Emmanuel Mapunda Chibwe by officers from Crime One police where he was also advised that he was being investigated in relation to a case of murder and use of military combat without authority.
“After the warn and caution was administered, I was not charged with any offence, but was transferred from Chelstone Police to Chilenje Police Station before being taken to Ibex Hill Police Station where I have been kept without being charged with any offence,” Kabaso stated.
He stated that he was informed that he could not be released by the police until further notice as they were still carrying out investigations and that they had not yet formulated the charge.
He added that he believed the police were vindictive and abusing their powers by declining to release him or charging him or taking him before a competitive court because from the time of his arrest, he had not been charged or taken to court.
Kabaso stated that all attempts to have the matter brought before the courts had been futile as the police or agents insist that he remained in police custody.
“I have been reliably advised by my advocates and believe that a person alleged to have committed an offence has a constitutional right to protection of the law in that he is presumed innocent and until brought before a competent court of law and found guilty, and if not tried within a reasonable time, then he shall be released either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions,” he added.
Kabaso further stated that since his detention and before being brought to court, a number of false statements had been issued in various media, which keep tarnishing his good reputation.
He stated that the false statements were causing injustice and prejudice to him as he was being prosecuted through the media, thereby, likely to cause people to have falsified view of his detention.
“I crave this honourable court’s indulgence in granting me leave to issue a writ of habeas corpus as my continued stay in police cells not only infringes my constitutional rights, but also affects the lives of many thousands of workers, who solely depend on me on a daily basis for their livelihood. The granting of leave, herein, will serve the interest of the course of justice as I am currently detained beyond the time limits provided by law and there is no legal basis upon which I am still being kept in custody,” stated Kabaso.