POLICE in Lusaka have formally charged and arrested their deputy commissioner and former president Edgar Lungu’s Aide De Camp, Chisanga Chanda, for allegedly assisting a wanted suspect.
And Lusaka Lawyer Makebi Zulu says he has been informed that a UPND cadre also participated in the questioning of his client, adding that he was also asked to disclose the people who were close to Lungu and where PF got campaign vehicles.
In a statement, Monday, Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said Chanda, 53, was charged for the alleged offence of being an accessory after the fact to a felony.
“Police in Lusaka have formally charged and arrested a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Chisanga Chanda aged 53 of House Number 8004 Brentwood Woodlands in Lusaka Province for the alleged offence of being an accessory after the fact to a felony Contrary to Sections 397 (1) and 398 of the Penal Code Act Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia. It is alleged that Mr Chanda on unknown date, but between the 1st October, 2019 and 4th February, 2022 in Lusaka Province of the Republic of Zambia, did receive or assist a wanted suspect,” stated Hamoonga.
And speaking to journalists at Woodlands Police Station, Zulu said he was only contacted to go to the police station on Monday when his client was picked up on Saturday.
He said he had also learnt that police had taken a warn and caution statement from Chanda in the absence of his lawyer.
“Having been detained on Saturday, we have approached the police wanting to access our client but we were told we could not access him at that particular time. As to why, we were not given any reason and they said it was administrative and they would let us know. On the very Saturday, we wrote to the police asking them to let us know the whereabouts of our client because the relatives were asking where he was and we also needed to access him to get instructions as to how best we could represent him so we could know what the matter was about,” Zulu said.
“Came Sunday, we did not hear from the police until today at about 10:30 hours when the police called and said ‘we will be at Woodlands at 11:30 hours’. Our client was only brought here at 11:30 hours today and we have come to learn that during this period of his absence, the police went ahead and took a warn and caution statement in the absence of counsel.”
Zulu said he had been informed that a UPND cadre also participated in the questioning of his client.
“Amongst those who were interrogating our client, we have been informed was a UPND cadre who participated in the questioning of our client. Our client was never put in police cells, but he was put at an undisclosed place in Kalundu. Together with him was his wife who was only released this morning, there was a friend to the wife who went to visit who was apprehended, the garden boy was also apprehended, the driver was also apprehended. They were all being questioned and have since been released this morning except for two other people whose whereabouts we are not aware of,” he said.
Zulu said it was disheartening that Chanda was questioned about things that did not relate to his arrest.
“So, our client has been charged to say he is an accessory after the fact relating to a murder that was in Kaoma. And over and above that, he is said to have concealed a fugitive when in fact not. The person that the police wanted made himself available, he saw a lawyer, he was to go to the police at the time that the police got there. But the lawyers that he had engaged were at hand to ensure that he made himself available. But what is disheartening is what our client has been subjected to all this period, a period of which he was being questioned as regards things that were not related to the subject of the arrest amongst which was ‘where did the PF get the vehicles which they were using to campaign’ and wanting disclosure as to where the vehicles were got. He was being asked ‘you know who is related with president Edgar Lungu, tell us the people that were close or visiting president Edgar Chagwa Lungu in the various places that he was going to’,” he said.
“So for us, this is a case of victimization and we intend to challenge the statement that he was made to give in the absence of his lawyers in that he is a diabetic patient, he was supposed to be on insulin, he couldn’t access his insulin. His wife having been detained, he was under a lot of pressure and they made him sign a statement in the absence of counsel despite an undertaking that they would call us his lawyers to be present at that particular meeting. So, we are disheartened that we are headed in this direction and we are disheartened that part of the investigations, cadres are taking part of it.”
And Zulu said Chanda was expected to appear before court on February 22, 2022.
“We wonder where our clients will get justice. We are happy that we will be going to court on the 22nd of February and there we will make the necessary applications that we will need to. But in the meantime, we will be obtaining instructions so that we can challenge most of these things in the Constitutional Court,” said Zulu.