POLICE in Lusaka last evening forcefully raided United Party for National Development (UPND) vice president for Administration Geoffrey Mwamba’s premises along Luanshya Road to conduct another search for offensive weapons.
But UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma described the police’s action as illegal as the UPND lawyers had filed an injunction in court yesterday, restraining the police from conducting any search as they had already conducted one on Saturday and had continued manning the premises despite the party advising them to leave.
The police forced their way onto the premises in the absence of either Mr. Mwamba or UPND lawyers after Mr. Mwamba failed to show up at the premises in the afternoon as agreed with the police on Wednesday that the premises needed to be searched.
Police Spokesperson Charity Munganga- Chanda told the Daily Nation last evening that the police were left with no option but to force their way into the premise and search some rooms which were not searched earlier in the week because they were locked.
Ms. Chanda said after waiting for Mr. Mwamba and his lawyers the whole afternoon to come and open the premises for the officers to carry out their duty, the police decided to conduct the search even in the absence of the owner of the premises.
“On Wednesday, we agreed that the police would conduct a search at the premises because when we conducted the search earlier, there were rooms which were locked and Mr. Mwamba himself told us that he would open the premises today (yesterday) when he comes back from the Copperbelt but he not showed up.
“We waited for him and his lawyers so that we can go on with the search as earlier agreed but they never showed up. When we called his lawyers, they told us that they were busy at the court and so, as I am speaking to you now, the police have broken into the premises to conduct the search. Mr. Mwamba and his lawyers are not there,” Ms. Chanda said.
Around 15:00 hrs yesterday, scores of police officers went to Mr. Mwamba’s premises in 11 pickups and sealed off Luanshya road forcing motorists to use alternative routes as they waited in vain for Mr. Mwamba and his lawyers to come and open the premises.
After waiting for almost three hours, the officers returned to Lusaka Central police but mobilized and returned to the premises about two hours later when they forced their way through and conducted a search for offensive weapons allegedly used for training by the 21UPND militia which were arrested on Saturday last week.
but Mr. Kakoma said there was no law that allowed the police to carry our a search without a search warrant adding that since there was an injunction in court, then the police should get ready for court proceedings against them.
“We filed an injunction against them and so if they are conducting a search right now, they are abrogating the law. We refused to have those premises searched on Wednesday because we don’t know what they have planted there all this time they have been occupying the premises. What is it that they did not find on Saturday that they want to find now?
“Since they have decided to go against the law, we shall meet them in court. Mr. Mwamba never signed any search warrant so, where did they get the power to search a pri9vate premises without a search warrant? That is wrong!” Mr. Kakoma said.
Mr. Mwamba was on Wednesday arrested and charged with unlawful drilling contrary to section 66 (1) (a) as read together with section 21C and D of the penal code.