A banker has petitioned the Lusaka High Court for K240, 000 in damages for wrongful detention after being detained and arrested on suspicion of spray-painting “Free HH” on the wall of a restroom in a government facility in 2017.
After being wrongfully detained in 2017, Mwanakatwe Sikasalu claims that his reputation as a professional banker has been damaged and that this has led to him being passed over for job and business possibilities because he is perceived as an unreliable criminal.
Additionally, Mr. Sikasula requests that the court compel the State to reimburse him for his special damages and the money he spent on medication after becoming allergic to things while he was in custody.
In court documents, he claims that he was detained for disorderly behavior inside the Government Complex due to a ‘Free HH’ graffiti that was allegedly painted on the wall of one of the restrooms.
The plaintiff asserts that at the relevant time, he was present at a Government facility restroom block.
“The plaintiff then heard people screaming on top of their voices and before he could understand what was being said, he was grabbed by several people accusing him of having written graffiti,” the document reads.
“The plaintiff was roughed up like a common criminal and dragged to the complex’s main reception where he was forced to sit on the floor for a period of time.
“While this was happening, several people gathered around, others attempted to beat the plaintiff calling him all sorts of unpleasant names with others taking pictures and videos of him,” the document reads.
In addition, Mr. Sikasula bemoans the fact that several of his assailants broadcast the embarrassing incident live on Facebook prior to his arrest and denial of a police bond at Lusaka Central Police Station.
“The plaintiff was later on transferred to Kamwala Remand Correctional Facility for 15 days. The plaintiff later developed a skin condition which caused the inflammation of his skin all over the body. He was treated at Sikanze Hospital using prescribed procaine penicillin and hydrocortisone,” the document reads.
He submits that his detention was wrong and without reasonable cause.
“The plaintiff’s arrest was calculated to humiliate, embarrass and bring his reputation in public odium as the incident was aired by all media houses,” the document reads