POLICE in Lusaka yesterday conducted a 10-hour search at United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema’s residences and the party secretariat following his claim that he receives State intelligence reports daily.
And police have summoned Mr Hichilema for questioning at Lusaka’s Woodlands Police Station at 10:00 hours today.
The search for leaked intelligence documents started as early as 07:00 hours and ended at about 17:00 hours.
A check by the Daily Mail found police officers deployed at the UPND secretariat in Lusaka’s Rhodes Park suburb around 07:00 hours.
But a search at the secretariat could not be conducted in the morning because the search warrant was said to be defective prompting UPND lawyer Martha Mushipe to turn the search team back.
The team returned to the UPND secretariat at about 14:00 hours and conducted the search.
At Mr Hichilema’s former residence in Kabulonga, the search started around 08:00 hours and ended around 11:00 hours.
The search at his New Kasama residence started around 10:30 hours.
The officers had a rough time entering Mr Hichilema’s residence in New Kasama because some UPND cadres threatened to beat them up.
It took Mr Hichilema and senior UPND officials to calm the cadres and shield the officers.
But the cadres followed and demanded that the officers be searched and leave their jackets outside for fear that they (officers) could plant some Government documents and frame Mr Hichilema.
The officers left their jackets and phones at the lounge before entering the house in New Kasama.
The team took about two and half hours to complete the search.
Mr Hichilema walked the officers to their vehicles to ensure that they were not harassed.
Present during the search at the New Kasama residence were Mr Hichilema’s wife Mutinta, Members of Parliament (MPs) Garry Nkombo (Mazabuka Central), Moono Lubenzhi (Namwala), Oliver Mulomba (Magoye), Munji Habeenzu (Chikankata) and Boyd Hamusonde (Nangoma), as well as William Banda and his (Hichilema’s) lawyer Chad Muleza.
Meanwhile, Police spokesperson Charity Chanda confirmed that police have instituted investigations in the matter in which Mr Hichilema claims that he receives intelligence information meant for President Lungu.
Mrs Chanda said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that it is an offence for anyone to communicate classified information to unauthorised persons.
Mrs Chanda said police yesterday searched Mr Hichilema’s residences in Kabulonga, New Kasama and the UPND secretariat.
“Under the State Security Act Chapter 111 of the Laws of Zambia, it is an offence for any person to receive any information, article, note or any document knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that such information was given out in contravention of the provisions of the Act,” she said.
Mrs Chanda further warned civil servants and people who receive classified information to desist from communicating this information to unauthorised people or they would face arrest and prosecution in accordance with the law.
She added that the police service will work with Government departments and other security agencies to ensure rapid reporting of leak of intelligence information.