UPND member Fred Hamamba has sued the State in the Lusaka High Court claiming damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution after he was acquitted on charges of aggravated robbery.
Hamamba, who has cited the Attorney General as the defendant, is also seeking aggravated and exemplary damages, general damages, interest and costs.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Thursday, Hamamba stated that he was arrested on October 8, 2017, on the charge of aggravated robbery.
“On October 8, 2017, the plaintiff (Hamamba), in Lusaka, was without any reasonable and plausible cause apprehended and was wrongly arrested for two counts of aggravated robbery the burden being on the defendant to justify the act of apprehending the plaintiff,” read the statement of claim.
He stated that there were no reasonable grounds for suspecting that he committed the offence of aggravated robbery, adding that on the premise, he was falsely imprisoned for a period of over 300 days from October 8, 2017 to July 19, 2018.
Hamamba stated that he did not commit the aggravated robbery, and that there was no direct evidence linking him to the offence or that he participated in the crime and the place where he was apprehended from.
“The plaintiff was then transferred to Lusaka Central Correctional Facility at which he was held until he was released when Lusaka High Court Judge Catherine Phiri found him not guilty and accordingly acquitted him on July 18, 2018, after trial,” read the statement of claim further.
He stated that his prosecution was brought without reasonable and probable cause.
Hamamba added that the State’s servants had no evidence against him, but caused him to be detained on a non-bailable offence of aggravated robbery merely on account of being found at the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
He stated that as a result, he suffered pain, embarrassment, humiliation and injury as well as loss and damage.
Hamamba was facing two charges of aggravated robbery in relation to theft of the 2016 election materials.
It was alleged that on August 14, 2016 in Lusaka, Hamamba, whilst acting together with other persons unknown, stole from Elina Nyirenda a handbag valued at K400, K350 cash and an envelope containing GEN Form 12 altogether valued at K750.00.
He was also alleged to have stolen from Emmanuel Simbeye a Blackberry cell phone valued at K4,000 and threatened to use violence to the said victims in order to obtain the said property or prevent resistance to it being stolen.
Hamamba had denied the charges and was acquitted by the Lusaka High Court at the no case to answer stage.