Accused gasser demands over $2 million from government

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CHRIS Zumani’s co-accused Marlone Banda has sued the State in the Lusaka High Court demanding compensation for malicious prosecution on allegations that he was behind the chemical-gassing incidents which the country experienced in 2020.

Banda was jointly charged with Zumani who was former president Edgar Lungu’s political adviser, Given Phiri, and Portipher Gwai, on a charge of possessing and procuring terrorism articles.

He and his co-accused were freed by judge Koreen Zimba as the State did not prove that they engaged in terrorism activities.

In a statement of claim, Banda said he is a businessman carrying out various businesses including, but not limited to, procurement and transportation of oil in Zambia and is the Chief Executive Officer of Masiye Petroleum Products limited.

He said on May 30, 2023, he was formally jointly charged, with three others namely, Christopher Zumani Zimba, Given Phiri and Potipher Gwai, with the offence of possession of terrorism articles, which is a non-bailable offence.

He said the police had no evidence to rely on in prosecuting him but went ahead with prosecution and caused him harm.

Banda said the High Court on December 1, 2023, acquitted him on the basis that there was no proof that he engaged in gassing.

“The actions of the defendant and it’s agent were wrongful and amounted to malicious prosecution,” he said.

“The Plaintiff continues to suffer loss and damages due to the actions of Zambia Police as his businesses have not recovered from the financial loss it sustained during the period of incarceration.”

Banda is demanding damages for malicious prosecution, an order that the State pays special damages for loss of business.

He is demanding US$2,000,000 for his failure to execute a stand by letter of credit , K2,000,000 spent on obtaining the stand by letter of credit, K2,327,933.02 for his failure to settle a loan from Madison Finance company

Banda is also demanding K10,000,000 for his failure to settle a payment for diesel supplied to him by Kacholola systems,as a result of his incarceration.

By Mwaka Ndawa

Kalemba March 6, 2024.

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