A COMBINED team of Police officers yesterday evening searched the law firm of UPND lawyer Martha Mushipe after the High Court dismissed an application for leave to apply for judicial review.
The Police were looking for documents linked to the activities of the so-called UPND vigilante group formed to allegedly destabilise the country .
The search hit a snag after Ms Mushipe applied for a renewal of an order for leave to apply for a judicial review on the search warrant.
It took three days and nights before the Police could be allowed to search following a court ruling.
Soon after the court ruled in favour of the State at about 15:00 hrs, Police were seen heading towards Ms Mushipe’s premises where they reinforced their colleagues who had been keeping vigil since Monday at the law firm at Lusaka’s Millennium Village.
At 17:00 hours, the officers asked for the keys from the UPND officials who had also been keeping vigil at the premises.
The UPND officials refused and advised them the security personnel to wait for their seniors party officials before they could enter the premises.
One of the Police officers argued that the search was according to section 188 which allowed them to break into premises when the doors were locked.
When Lusaka lawyer Marshal Muchende of Dindi and Company arrived and Mr Jack Mwiimbu arrived one of the officers using an iron bar broke the door to Ms Mushipe’s law firm and allowed five other colleagues to enter the premises.
Earlier, Lusaka High Court Judge Mubanga Kondolo declined to grant Ms Mushipe leave to apply for judicial review on the search warrant.
Judge Kondolo ruled that civil proceedings could stop criminal proceedings.
He advised Ms Mushipe to appeal to the Supreme Court if wanted. On Monday, Police obtained a search warrant for Ms. Mushipe’s office following allegations of the existence of a UPND youth vigilante group by Ephraim Shakafuswa.
But Ms. Mushipe continued to elude police since Monday, thereby preventing officers from carrying out the search of her offices.
The aim of the secret UPND youth group, Mr. Shakafuswa claimed, was to create anarchy and make the country ungovernable.