Lawyer Ralph Kasambara, set free by a police bail on Tuesday, has sued the Inspector General of Police (IG) and Chief Commissioner of Prisons for defying court orders that he be released on bail.
Kasambara, who was detained at Chichiri Prison and Zomba Maximum Security Prison before he was rushed to Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commercial city, Blantyre, on Friday for a heart problem, extended the law suits to 10 other police officers.
The former Attorney General (AG) wants IG Peter Mukhito and Chief Commissioner of Prisons MacDonald Chaona imprisoned or an order of seizure or an order of payment of fine and imprisonment in default.
Others sued include Southern Region Commissioner of Police Rodney Jose, Eastern Region Police Commissioner Finley Binali, Malawi Police Service (MPS) head of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Lexa Chalera, newly appointed national police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu and Southern Region Police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa.
Other police officers whipped with the suits are MPS head of prosecution Happy Mkandawire, Carolyn Jere, F.B Mkuka, a Mr. Kaputa, Katuya and Eastern Region CID officer Mrs. Ngami.
One of the lawyers representing Kasambara, Lusungu Gondwe, said in an interview the law suits were filed at the High CourtÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Zomba registry and were served on the defendants and the State. However, hearing of the case failed to start on Wednesday because court clerks said they were still on strike.
The court set Wednesday to begin hearing the case and the AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office was represented by lawyer Tionge Kayira.
The officers are accused of contempt in various roles they played in KasambaraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s matter, leading to his detention despite the bail obtained from the Blantyre MagistrateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Court and the High Court order that restrained the authorities from further holding Kasambara in detention.
Meanwhile, Kasambara, in a stable condition now, is this Thursday scheduled to fly out to South Africa to see a cardiac surgeon at Burnhurst Hospital, according to one of his lawyers, Wapona Kita.
In another development, head of the European Union in Malawi Alexander Baum and Germany Ambassador Dr Peter Woeste visited Kasambara at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital on Tuesday evening.
Kita said the two visited Kasambara just like any other well-wisher.
But lawyer Viva Nyimba speculated that the donor community exerted pressure on government to have Kasambara released.
Kasambara was arrested last week Monday alongside his associates Arthur Chikankheni, Mayamiko Kadango, Brian Magoya, Patrick Gadama and Ali Kaka.
They were charged with assault occasioning bodily harm on a trio which reportedly attempted to assassinate Kasambara and petrol-bomb his offices and residence in Blantyre.
Kasambara and his associates were released last week Wednesday at about 3 pm before about 30 armed police officers, in a dramatic turn of events, stormed his house and rearrested him. The other five men were not rearrested.
- Ralph Kasambara, a politician-cum-human rights activist, is a private practice lawyer who also served as Attorney General during President Bingu wa MutharikaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first term of office.
- Police arrested Kasambara and five other men on February 13 2012 and charged them with assault.
- On February 14 2012, Kasambara and his associates obtained a court bail despite the ongoing strike by Judiciary support staff that has paralysed theÃ‚Â justice delivery system.
- On February 15 2012, police rearrested Kasambara hours after his release on bail. His five associates were left scot-free, according to his lawyer Wapona Kita.