Zambia’s strongest government critic and civil rights activist Brebner Changala has been charged with the unbailable offence of drug trafficking.
Mr. Changala is accused of trafficking drugs found in his sister’s suitcase found in her room at his house.
The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) claims that the drugs were “ecstasy” a prohibited drug but his sister disputes this.
Mr. Changala’s sister Agness Kawandami, a nurse says that the drugs she left in her room were Vermox a de-worming drug used on children.
But neither Mr. Changala nor his sister Kawandami will know for certain because the DEC officials have refused to show them the drugs that were allegedly found and confiscated from his house during a dawn search on Wednesday last week.
Their lawyer Gilbert Phiri who witnessed the search does not know if the drugs collected in the search are the same ones being used in the charge.
Both Mr Changala and his sister have denied ever being in possession of the drug which DEC claims to have recovered from a search.
Both Changala and his sister say they have no idea what “ecstasy” drugs look like, and how they were found and why the DEC officers have refused to show them the drugs which they claim to have recovered in the search. DEC officers failed to produce the drugs for Ms Kawandami to identify but verbally maintained that they were psychotropic substance
Mr Changala was yesterday formally arrested for trafficking in psychotropic substances contrary to section 6 of Cap 96 of the laws of Zambia.
Phiri confirmed to the Daily Nation that the two were charged that while acting together they were found in possession of 36.35 grams of a drug called ecstasy.
During interrogation at DEC Ms Kawandami, demanded to see the drugs so that she ascertain but the officers refused to avail her with the said drugs, as she had wanted to demonstrate that they were harmless chewable tablets used by children.
Mr Phiri said security officers had collected 59 tablets that were found in Ms Kawandami’s suitcase when they raided Mr Changala’s home last week on Wednesday.
“The drugs were in a suitcase in a room that she was using. Mr Changala did not enter his sister’s room during the search.”Changala and Ms Kawandami who are being detained at Ridgeway Police Post and Woodlands Police Station will appear in court on Monday.
Mr Changala was on Thursday driven to Kabwe where the police picked up his sister and insisted that she be brought to Lusaka for questioning.