Changala takes on State over his nolle


Government has failed to explain why it entered a nolle prosequi in the case in which civil activist Brebner Changala and his sister Agnes Kawandami were arrested for suspected  drug trafficking.

But State claimed that the suspected drugs which were seized from Mr Changala’s residence during a search could have been Methylene dioxyment lamphetamine commonly referred to as Ecstasy or MDMA and not Vermox tablets used for deworming as claimed.

The State further submitted that as per procedure the seized drugs were taken for a presumptive test and positively passed for Ecstasy.

This is in a matter in which Mr Changala and his sister Ms Kawandi have sued Government for damages after he was wrongly arrested on allegations of trafficking in drugs weighing 36.35 grammes.

But in response Mr Changala denied that no tests could have revealed that the seized drugs were Ecstasy and that the arrest was maliciously affected because the officers first seized the two tablets that the Defendants Counsel had kept since the conduct of the search and having ensured that there was no longer any control drug loose that could counter their fake results.

Mr Changala has dismissed the claims by the State that his liberty was not infringed or infringed during the search as he was well and truly restricted as he was under the control of the officers who were searching his residence.

He has denied the State’s claim that they were not warned and cautioned when they were arrested on August 16, 2013 and spent a night in police custody without being charged.

Mr Changala has also denied the malicious conduct of falsifying results of the drug tests that were only communicated to him by the Commissioner of Drug Enforcement Commission in 2015 in absence of his lawyer.

The plaintiffs were never informed that the State had entered a nolle prosequi because of the malicious acts of the officers.

Mr Changala also denied that there was no reasonable ground to suspect that they trafficked in prohibited psychotropic substances because they assert that the drugs were positive for Ecstasy of which the tests had not been conducted and the plaintiffs would aver that the basis of their arrest was never based on any drug tests but by malicious intent.

Mr Changala has further submitted that it was patiently clear from the obvious contradictions and coordinated falsities in the defendant’s defence that that their arrest, charge and incarceration were groundless and patently malicious.

Mr Changala, together with his sister Ms Kawandami, a retired nurse sued the Attorney general in the Lusaka court for damages after they were wrongly arrested on allegations of trafficking in drugs weighing 36.35 grams.

Mr two are seeking the court’s indulgence for damages including aggravated and exemplary damages for false imprisonment.

The plaintiffs are claiming damages for mental torture and emotional distress, mental anguish, inconvenience and embarrassment.

They are also claiming damages for breach of privacy, confidentiality and other relief that the court may deem fit.

The State says that the duo were warned and cautioned on the day of the arrest and were formally charged the following day as they arrived the following day.

The State has admitted that the plaintiffs appeared in court the same date they were formally charged.

They have denied that the officer responsible for the case went to the food and drugs laboratory where a presumptive test was conducted the day the duo appeared in court.

The State has indicated that  when the plaintiffs appeared before Aridah Chulu’s  Court in the Magistrates Court they were informed that the DDP had entered a nolle Prosequi and the case was discontinued  and the duo were discharged but that after a nolle prosequi was entered the developments were communicated to Mr Changala in the presence of his lawyer.

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