SWIFT Cargo Services Limited has sued the state, seeking an order that it releases over 40 motor vehicles which the police seized from its premises without a reason.
The company has stated that the motor vehicles should be released on grounds that there were no facts or reasonable grounds upon which reasonable suspicion could have been formed on how it acquired the seized properties.
In a petition filed in the Lusaka High Court, Swift Cargo Services stated that since the seizure of its vehicles, it has not been informed of the reasons for the seizure.
The company now wants the court to order the State to compensate it (in monetary terms) for the unlawful arbitrary seizure of the vehicles and for the unlawful disruption of its business and goodwill.
Swift Cargo Services stated that on February 22, 2022, officers from the Zambia Police who are agents of the Attorney General visited and raided its premises situated in Kitwe at Plot No. 4161, Twatasha Road.
The company stated that the officers presented a warrant and started searching and consequently, seized vehicles in its yard belonging to it.
Swift Cargo Services stated that all the vehicles seized were Volvos of different registration numbers and further alleged that some of the vehicles were laden with high value goods belonging to various clients.
The company stated that the police issued a seizure notice and have since started collecting the said vehicles from its premises.
“The petitioner has not been informed of any offence that they have committed or are suspected of having committed and have not been given any chance to make representation over the same,” Swift Cargo Services Limited stated.
The petitioner stated that by virtue of what transpired, the State has violated and has continued to violate its rights guaranteed under Articles 11, 16 and 17 of the Constitution of Zambia.
The company stated that it was deprived of its rights to privacy and property when the officers from Zambia Police entered the premises without reasonable suspicion of the company having committed, or about to commit, having been involved or about to be involved in any criminal offence.
“The petitioner’s rights guaranteed under Article 17 (1) of the Constitution of Zambia have been violated in relation to the entry onto their premises by officers from the Zambia Police without any reasonable justification. Its rights to a fair trial as protected under Article 18 of the Constitution is likely to be violated as the investigations are being done in blatant disregard of the provisions of the law,” stated Swift Cargo Services Limited.