POLICE in Lusaka have detained PF chairperson for information and publicity Raphael Nakacinda after recording a warn and caution statement from him for defamation of the President.
In a statement, Thursday, Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said according to a recording which went viral, Nakacinda used vulgar language against President Hakainde Hichilema whilst campaigning in Kabwata.
“Police have warned and Cautioned Raphael Mangani Nakachinda aged 43 of plot number 1794 Kafue District for the offences of Proposing violence Contrary to Section 91 (1)(C) and Defamation of the President Contrary to Section 69 of the Penal Code of the laws of Zambia. This is in relation to the utterances he made during his campaign trail in Chilenje’s Mapoloto area between 6th to 12th January, 2022,” he said.
“In the recording which went viral on various social media, he is alleging that the Republican President Mr Hakainde Hichilema and his foreign friends are planning to evict residents of Mapoloto and to build a shopping mall there. In the same recording the accused is alleged to have used vulgar language against the Republican President. He has since been detained in police custody.”
When asked why Nakacinda was detained without being formally arrested, Hamoonga said one could be detained as long as they were warned and cautioned.
“Who said he cannot be detained if he is warned and cautioned? He is in our custody, we have said we have warned and cautioned him and he is in our custody. He has been warned and cautioned and he is in custody, kwasila (that’s all),” said Hamoonga.
And speaking to journalists as he was going to the holding cell earlier, Nakacinda said it was unfortunate that he was being treated like a criminal for merely campaigning.
“Of course you can see how we are being handled now like common criminals purely based on the fact that we are campaigning in our Kabwata and we are being charged for the campaign message in Kabwata,” said Nakacinda.
Meanwhile, Nakacinda’s lawyer Makebi Zulu said police were acting unlawfully by detaining his client without formally charging him.
“We were misled that he was going to be charged once we got to the police station, he has not been charged, he has been detained without being formally arrested. The state has told him that they have the right to put him there. They have warned and cautioned him, they have said the charges that they wish to prefer against him but they have neglected to arrest him and charge him for those particular offences that they prefer, which is a travesty of justice. We heard the President at his inaugural speech, when he said ‘no suspect should be put in custody without a charge’, that was a directive,” said Zulu.
“As a matter of fact, the police were told and all investigative wings were told that no one should be put in custody without being charged. Clearly, we see a deviation from that. From the legal perspective, this is wrong, it should not be the case. As he is in there, he is a free man. None of his freedoms have been taken away by way of an arrest. We will challenge this action, it has become customary, we saw the other day how honorable Bowman Lusambo was placed in custody without a charge even after they had purportedly finished their investigations. We have to challenge this before the courts of law.”