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Judicial CP - June 2002

LRF News (Legal Resources Foundation), Lusaka, June 2002

Solwezi Police Practise Corporal Punishment

By Delphine Hampande

POLICEMEN in Solwezi still practise corporal punishment even after the High Court ruled against it, a recent victim Chrispin Solochi has said.

Solochi said he was given six strokes of the cane by a police officer on allegations that he had stolen some things. Solochi said a Sub-Inspector Kumalo connived with a man who went to lodge a complaint of theft that he must be given six strokes of the cane even after there was no proof that he stole.

He said on May 20, 2002 he bought 19 litres of used engine oil from Happy Kashala to use for moulding blocks. Solochi said he was told to pay K10,000 before collecting the oil, which he did. He was only given 10 litres and told to collect the remaining 9 litres some time later. When he went to get the remaining litres, he found Kashala's father who refused to give him the litres and when Solochi insisted, the father alerted the other villagers who started calling him a thief and took him to Solwezi's Zambia Compound police station.

Solochi explained to the policemen what had happened and Happy was called to confirm the story, which he did. But Kashala's father was still not happy, so he connived with the police officer to give Solochi six strokes of the cane for buying the oil from his son behind his back. Solochi now seeks justice from Legal Resources Foundations (LRF).

LRF Solwezi paralegal said the police had no right to administer any cane strokes to any suspect as it was abolished a long time ago and if anyone is found doing so, he can be charged with assault and battery. The case is still being pursued.

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