After spending six (6) days in Police detention, Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) President Sean Tembo has been formally arrested and charged with the offence of hate speech by the Zambia Police Service.
Speaking shortly in a live video on his Facebook page after being released on Police Bond from Police detention at Woodlands Police Station, Mr Tembo alleged that, last week on Thursday, the Zambia Police kidnapped and held him hostage, a situation he said he didn’t expect to happen under the New Dawn Administration as it was promised that the rule of law will be respected.
“But clearly there’s no rule of law that is being respected,” Mr Tembo said.
Mr Tembo explained that the process of arresting and charging someone is something that should not take more than an hour, and in this particular instance, he has seen that this so-called arrest has taken six days as there was no other reasonable excuse that can be given as to why an arrest should take six days without any reason whatsoever other than to try and persecute and intimidate someone.
“At the end of the day, we shall not be subjected to intimidation despite our kidnapping by the Zambia Police Service,” he stated Mr Tembo mentioned that as an opposition leader, he will relent in ensuring that he provides checks and balances to the government as it is his duty at the end of the day.
“Those checks and balances do not need to be in a manner which is acceptable to the ruling party, no, we will provide checks and balances in a manner that we see fit, regardless of whether we are intimidated or not” Mr Tembo noted.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Media Director of Media Thabo Kawana stated that the sentiments coming from Mr Tembo in the Facebook video suggesting that the Police kidnapped and held him hostage for the last six days without charge are indeed unfortunate to say the least.
Mr Kawana added that this is not only unfortunate and untrue on his part but, also sad for an opposition leader to tell blatant lies.
“Mr Sean Tembo detained himself, I say so because I am aware (and anyone can check my facts with the Police) that the Police were ready to arrest and charge Sean Tembo from the very hour they picked him up,” Mr Kawana said.
Mr Kawana explained that Mr Tembo refused to be dealt with in the absence of his Lawyers and demanded that any arrest and/or charge to be preferred on him can only be employed in the presence of his Lawyers.
He noted that his Lawyers did not show up until Monday and when they did, they also stated that their client was unwell and needed medical attention immediately.
Again, no arrest or charge was conducted as focus turned to the Hospital.
“Mr Tembo was then taken to Hospital were a doctor attended to him and prescribed a 3-hour bed rest for observation, after that, Mr Tembo was discharged from Hospital and taken back to Police were again, the Police were ready to arrest and charge him,” he said.
He alluded that at the Police, he could again not be arrested and charged because his Lawyers left to attend to other matters and Mr Tembo’s preference was that he could not be arrested or charged in the absence of his Lawyers. So again, he spent another night in Police custody.
Mr Kawana mentioned that today, Mr Tembo has been formally arrested and charged in the presence of his Lawyers as per his wish and right.
Mr Kawana mentioned that from the above stated, one can see that the Police did not hold Mr Tembo a minute longer than he himself made it necessary.
His prolonged stay in Police custody was his own making and not that of the Police.
“It is not good to play tricks aimed at trying to paint the country black in the eyes of the international community when in fact, people are keeping themselves in Police custody but coming out to claim Police kidnapping and been held hostage, it’s Preposterous,”
Mr Kawana stated Brief facts of the matter are that, on Thursday 1st September 2022, Mr Tembo was arrested on claims of defaming President Hakainde Hichilema, and while in Police custody Mr Tembo complained of severe stomach pains and was rushed to Chilenje Level 1 hospital where he received treatment and was discharged and taken back into Police detention after his condition was declared to be stable by the medical professionals.
Mr Tembo was seen bundled in the back of a Toyota Corolla at Woodlands Police Station, much to the displeasure of onlookers who expected the Police to at least provide an Ambulance. The PeP President was escorted by heavily armed officers who had to be moved out of the treatment room during his examination by the medical personnel