STATE Police last evening raided and arrested Economic and Equity Party (EFP) president Chilufya Tayali for denouncing government’s decision to contract Grant Thornton and Price Water and Coopers to audit the country’s defense and security wings.
The Police, who arrived at Mr. Tayali’s house around 17 hours armed with assault rifles refused to heed to his lawyer’s request for him to report himself the following day as they had been given strict orders not to leave the premises without their client.
With the latest arrest, Mr. Tayali faces a range of charges including Cyber, Hate and Seditious crimes. And earlier in the day, Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha warned during a press briefing of the law visiting anyone who would be deemed to be defaming President Hakainde Hichilema via social media.
The plain clothed police officers arrived at Mr. Tayali’s residence just about 17:00 hours and forced their way into his house after breaking his gate before barbarically bundling him into their motor vehicle and driving him to an undisclosed place.
The officers, who were filmed live were seen frantically trying to gain entry into his yard by attempting to break the gate.
Mr Tayali during his more than two hours ordeal discussed an array of subjects including the continued and persistent shortage of drugs in hospitals, the non-delivery of fertilizer and generally the deteriorating political situation in the country.
The police officers eventually managed to break the gate after he refused to surrender to their orders.
The police in the process also bundled Muvi TV reporter Innocent Phiri and his camera person Obvious Kaunda who were filming the whole debacle.
As the drama unfolded, the police officers in frustration decided to divert their anger to Mr Phiri and his cameraman whom they forcibly bundled into the car and drove away.
And Lawyer Makebi Zulu described the raiding and arrest of Mr Tayali as sheer lawlessness on the part of the State and a complete disregard of the rule of law.
Mr Zulu however said the legal team was working frantically to ensure Mr Tayali was released at the earliest time possible.
“This is just total lawlessness at the hands of the police and what I can say is that we are going to see a judge that can stop this illegality,” Mr Zulu said.
According to Mr Tayali’s narration, the police officers wanted to pick him because he had challenged President Hakainde Hichilema to intervene in the Grant Thornton Defence Forces audit scandal which was exposed in Parliament on Friday.
In his Facebook live stream, Mr Tayali said Jawyer Makebi Zulu tried to engage them and request for a later date, but they refused, stating they were under strict orders to pick him up despite not having a warrant. In his broadcast, Mr Tayali condemned the hiring of the two foreign firms to conduct audits at the Zambia Army, Zambia Airforce and Zambia National Service, because the act by the government was exposing the country’s internal and externa} security to the Unknown world.