KATUBA UPND member of parliament Aubrey Kapalasa’s wife Fanny Madzi, has commenced judicial review proceedings in the Lusaka High Court challenging the Zambia Police’s decision to seize a motor vehicle which she says was given to her husband by Foreign Affairs Minister, Joseph Malanji.
Madzi submitted to the court that after her husband was gifted the vehicle by Malanji, it was then registered in her name and she had been using it peacefully as an absolute owner.
She submitted that the vehicle was seized by police after the relationship between the minister and her husband went sour, due to the fact that the UPND lawmaker “refused to support the infamous Bill 10”.
But Simunza Uyoya, a police officer in the Zambia Police Service, has submitted that the police seized the vehicle in question from Madzi pending further investigations, as there was no doubt that the vehicle belonged to Swift Cargo Services Limited, and it was not clear how ownership of the vehicle was changed from Swift Cargo Services Limited to Madzi.
Madzi who cited the Attorney General as respondent in the matter, is seeking an Order of Mandamus compelling and directing the Zambia Police Service to permanently release Motor Vehicle registration number BAP 6744ZM.
She also wants a declaration and order that the decision and omissions and/or neglect made by the Zambia Police Service on December 10, 2020 to seize the motor vehicle is null and void ab initio.
The grounds upon which the reliefs are sought are that; the decision by the Zambia Police Service to seize the vehicle is unreasonable and is actuated by bad faith and malice, and that in the event that Kapalasa actually obtained the vehicle on credit from Swift Cargo Limited, the said company should have sought the right remedies before the correct forum and not using the Zambia Police to inconvenience, victimise and intimidate her.
Madzi commenced this matter by way of an application for leave to apply for judicial review filed on January 14, 2021 and leave was granted by the court on January 25, 2021.
According to an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for leave to apply for judicial review, Madzi stated that sometime in June, 2020 her husband, Kapalasa, who is the current member of parliament for Katuba, presented a gift to her in form of a motor vehicle namely Isuzu registration number BAP 6744ZM, which was registered in her names.
She stated that when she inquired from her husband on how he bought the gift, he explained to her that the said motor vehicle was bought by Honourable Malanji as a gift for the good relationship the minister and her husband shared.
“I have been using [the] motor vehicle peacefully as an absolute owner for my personal and business activities until the time my husband and Honourable Joseph Malanji’s relationship went sour due to the fact that my husband refused to support the infamous Bill 10,” Madzi stated.
She stated that on December 10, 2020 the Theft of Motor Vehicles, Criminal Investigations Department, Zambia Police Service Headquarters, Lusaka unjustly seized the motor vehicle on account that her husband got the car on credit from a company called Swift Cargo Limited whose proprietor is Goodward Mulubwa, and had failed to pay for it.
“When I asked my husband to be honest on how he obtained the said motor vehicle, he stated again that the motor vehicle was a gift from Honourable Joseph Malanji and that he had never met or dealt with any agent from Swift Cargo and/or it’s proprietor Goodward Mulubwa. Upon further inquiry on the happenings it was discovered that Swift Cargo had presented to the Zambia Police a bogus sale agreement between themselves and my husband (Hon. Bampi Kapalasa) which they solely relied on to claim ownership of the motor vehicle,” Madzi stated.
“From the time the motor vehicle was seized there has not been any communication and progress on the said matter and my motor vehicle is depreciating as it is being exposed to the sun and heavy rains. Despite writing to the Zambia Police for the temporary release of my motor vehicle which I use for personal and business purposes there has been no action to have this matter resolved amicably.”
However, in an affidavit in opposition to the application for judicial review filed on March 23, this year, Uyoya who is the dealing officer in the matter, stated that the Zambia Police received a report from Mulubwa on November 30, 2020, who reported on behalf of Swift Cargo Services Limited that the company vehicle namely, Isuzu D-Max, had been fraudulently obtained by Kapalasa after he promised to buy it.
“That the complainant was astonished that the motor vehicle was not returned but that there was an agreement in which Honourable Bampi Kapalasa purported to have bought the vehicle from Swift Cargo Services Limited at $64, 000 to be paid in two instalments in July and August. That neither Honourable Bampi Kapalasa nor his wife who is the applicant, produced any proof of payment for the motor vehicle but there was a White Book in his wife’s names,” he stated.
“Investigations were conducted at the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to collect information from the box file to establish the vehicle activities, where it was discovered that the ownership of the vehicle in question was registered on June 16, 2020 in the names of Swift Cargo Services Limited, as the vehicle is among four motor vehicles which were purchased by Swift Cargo Services Limited from Action Auto.”
Uyoya further stated that the ownership of the vehicle in question was changed from Swift Cargo Services Limited to Fanny Madzi on June 29, 2020 without authority from the previous owner.
He stated that the police seized the vehicle in question from Madzi pending further investigations as there was no doubt that the vehicle in question belonged to Swift Cargo Services Limited, and the issue was how ownership of the vehicle was changed from Swift Cargo Services Limited to Madzi.
“Since there is a letter of sale purported to have been prepared by Honourable Bampi Kapalasa, a handwriting specimen was taken from him to establish if he is the author of the letter. The case is still under investigations and the police are yet to establish with RTSA how the vehicle changed ownership from Swift Cargo Services Limited to the applicant without authority from the previous owner,” Uyoya stated.
He stated that the investigations and subsequent seizure of the vehicle in question in this matter were done in good faith and within the parameters of the law.