M’membe & wife challenge dismantling of printing press and continued police presence at their home
By Bwembya Bwembya
JOURNALIST Dr Fred M’membe and his wife Mutinta have applied for judicial review in the Lusaka High Court challenging the police’s continued occupation of their home.
The couple is also challenging the police’s action of dismantling a printing press owned by them in their personal capacity.
In this matter, Dr M’membe and Mutinta, who is Oracle Media proprietor, have cited the Attorney General and are seeking the court’s order to quash the decision of the police for being irrational and illegal.
“Police having arrested the applicant, they occupied the applicants’ home, plot number 7345, Nangwenya Road, Lusaka and have remained in occupation to date. Plot number 7345, Nangwenya Road, Lusaka is owned by the applicants and has no legal encumbrances on it. Besides occupying the applicants’ home, the police have started the process of dismantling a printing press owned by them in their personal capacity,” read the affidavit in part.
Mutinta stated that it was illegal for the police to continue to occupy their home which was privately owned.
She further submitted that it was wrong for the police to assume control of a
privately-owned printing press at their house.
Mutinta stated that the police could not at law use their power to take over private property.
She stated further that moving the printing press would completely destroy it as it was delicate and required professional attention to
Mutinta prayed that if leave to apply for judicial review was granted, such leave should operate as a stay of the decisions of the police and that hearing should be expedited.
“Applicants hereby request a hearing of this application before a judge. If leave is granted, a direction that the hearing of the application be expedited,” Mutinta stated.
Last week, police in Lusaka invaded the applicants’ home with a search warrant signed by the magistrates’ court.
The police then assaulted Mutinta and arrested her the same day.