POLICE have dismissed media assertions that Patriots for Economic Progress (Pep) president Sean Tembo was unlawfully detained.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the delay in issuing Tembo with a police bond was caused by himself and his lawyer who was not available for the police to complete the formalities as by law established.
“Following the apprehension and detention of Tembo on Thursday, police has noticed with concern the falsehoods being peddled on social media and various media platforms that police were unlawfully holding him in detention. As Zambia Police Service, we would like to clarify that after his detention on Friday the 2nd September, 2022, Police were ready to formally charge and arrest Tembo. However, the suspect requested for his lawyer to be present as it is his constitutional right to have legal representation,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga said upon the arrival of his lawyer Jonas Zimba, Police were ready to formalise the procedures but his lawyer raised concern that Tembo was not feeling well and hence be taken to Chilenje Level One Hospital as it is his constitutional right to seek medical attention as by law established.
He said at the hospital, Tembo was seen by a medical doctor and later put on bed rest for three hours from 12:00 to 15:00 hours.
Mr Hamoonga said Tembo remained under police custody till when he was discharged after the expiration of his three hours bed rest as prescribed by the Doctor.
“Upon being taken back to the Police station the accused’s lawyer was engaged with other duties. Police again could not proceed with the formalities as the accused’s lawyer was not available. This morning the 6th September, 2022 Police in the presence of Tembo’s Lawyer formally charged and arrested Tembo for the offence of Hate Speech Contrary to Section 65 of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act No. 2 of 2021 of the Laws of Zambia,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga said Tembo has since been released on police bond and will appear in court soon.