FRED M’membe says the arrest of his wife Mutinta and harassment of his lawyer Nchima Nchito is inhuman and in bad faith.
In a statement issued from Jamaica yesterday, Dr M’membe stated that the warrant of arrest issued against him was a farce because President Edgar Lungu and his agents should have known that he was not in the country.
On Wednesday afternoon, a horde of heavily armed police raided Dr M’membe’s house after the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court ordered the Zambia Police Service to arrest him for allegedly impersonating a Post official.
Police instead arrested Mutinta after accusing her of tearing a search warrant.
“I learnt of the arrest of my wife Mutinta and harassment of my lawyer Nchima Nchito with deep sadness. This was inhuman, unacceptable and done in bad faith. The invasion of my home in my absence was and is a cowardly and desperate act. President Edgar Lungu and his agents ought to have known I was out of the country visiting the USA and Jamaica. The warrant to arrest me was therefore a farce. It was meant to enter, search, intimidate, harass and humiliate my family,” Dr M’membe, stated.
“My wife, just like any humble and respecting citizen should do, complained against this injustice. She was insulted and assaulted for defending her home. Her arrest and detention as well as the continued harassment of my lawyer is an affront against any sense of fairness and justice. It is a total abuse of the judicial process.”
M’membe asked President Lungu and his agents to wait for him as he would soon return home.
“I will be coming back home in a few days time. Edgar Lungu and his agents should be patient enough to wait and give me the chance to answer any charges against me. The destruction and removal of my personal property in my absence is shameful. There is no piece of asset or machinery at my home that belongs to Post Newspapers Limited. My integrity in this regard is unquestionable and borne out of highly principled stand in life. Money and wealth have never been the driving forces behind my life and actions. The assets of The Post they want to steal in broad daylight were built over a period of 25 years of hard and selfless work. It is against all that I stand for to keep such assets at my home for personal use,” Dr M’membe stated.
“The liquidation of The Post is supposed to be a civil issue. The use of the police, intelligence officers and the entire state machinery, including State House, is unwarranted. It is impunity of the highest order.”
He asked the State to leave his family out of their vendetta against him.
“Meanwhile, my children, wife and relatives residing at my home have to be left alone. The policemen and state agents should vacate my home. It is me President Edgar Lungu is after. He should have the patience to wait for a few more days,” stated M’membe.
According to the warrant to arrest dated February 14, issued to Inspector General of Police and other officers, Dr M’membe, the majority shareholder, editor-in-chief and managing director of Post Newspapers Limited (In liquidation), is accused of personating as an officer of the newspaper.