Covid beating in court

... man claims police beat up bar patrons

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A LUSAKA man has filed a lawsuit against the State for the alleged beatings he sustained at the hands of four Zambia Police officers under the guise of informing COVID-19 regulations at a bar he was found playing games.

David Mooto Nalumino Sikananu 56, has cited the Attorney General as the defendant in the Lusaka High Court.

He is seeking a declaration that the officers had no right under the COVID-19 regulations or any other laws or regulations to humiliate, assault, torture him or subject him to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Sikananu is further seeking a declaration that the Police had no right to violate his Human Rights under the guise of enforcing the COVID-19 Regulations or any other laws or regulations applicable in Zambia or any other directive for enforcing measures for the prevention of COVID-19.

He wants damages for false imprisonment, including exemplary damages, damages for injuries sustained and interest on the damages aforesaid.

Sikananu is further seeking an order that the medical report form dated the April 23, 2020 be corrected to reflect the fact that he was beaten or assaulted by the Zambia Police Officers.

According to his statement of claim, Sikananu stated that he was an able bodied Zambian.

He claimed that on April 22, this year, around 17:30 hours, while enjoying good health, he went to a bar called Kimata at the market called Big Jose in Obama residential area to play a game of billiards which was not a contact sport.

Sikananu stated that around 18:30 hours, four unknown Police Officers from Chelstone Police Station ostensibly enforcing the Public Health the Covid-19 Regulations (SI no 22 of 2020) descended on the bar.

He claimed that upon gaining entry into the bar the officers took turns in unlawfully beating him with other patrons using a plank with a metal and truncheon.

“Upon gaining entry into the bar, the Zambia Police Officers (one plain clothed officer brandishing a plank with metal or sharp objects, another plain clothed officer brandishing a truncheon, a uniformed officer brandishing an AK 47 Assault Rifle and another plain clothed officer manning one of the doors to the bar) ordered Sikananu together with the other patrons in the bar to sit down on the floor which was filthy and dirty.

“Thereafter the said officers while hurling abuses and insults at Sikananuand the patrons took turns in unlawfully beating or assaulting Sikananuand the other patrons using the said plank and truncheon,” read part of the statement of claim.

Sikananu further claimed that he was repeatedly beaten or assaulted on his arms, hands and feet and in the process he sustained deep cuts, in the process experienced excruciating pain and bled profusely.

He stated that as a result, he was unlawfully humiliated, assaulted, tortured and subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by the Zambia Police Officers.

Sikananu claimed  that the said Police Officers had no right whatsoever under the COVID-19 Regulations or any other laws to humiliate, assault, torture him.

He stated that he was wrongfully imprisoned and deprived of his freedom for about 30 minutes.

“The Zambia Police Officers had no right whatsoever under the COVID-19 Regulations or any other laws or regulations applicable in Zambia to confine or detain Sikananu in the manner that they did on the material day. By reason of the confinement, the Plaintiff sustained great anxiety and suffered loss and damage,” read the statement of claim.

He claimed that the said conduct by the Zambia Police Officers was arbitrary, oppressive and unconstitutional.

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