Zambia
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Lusambo gets back his house as Court rules that warrant of seizure was irregularly issued to ACC

The Lusaka Magistrate Court has today ruled that the warrant of seizure on Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo’s house be set aside.

The ruling means that Mr. Lusambo can now take possession of the property located Lusaka’s Chamba Valley area.

The Anti Corruption Commission had on April 13th 2022 seized Mr. Lusambo’s property on allegations that the property was acquired from proceeds of crime.

But Lusaka Magistrate Albert Mwaba ruled that the document which was issued as warrant of seizure on 13 April, 2022, be and is hereby set aside.

Magistrate Mwaba stated that Mr. Lusambo’s lawyers had argued that the properties in question were already under a restriction notice issued by the Anti- Corruption Director General when the court issued the warrant of seizure in question and that the lawyer for the state never countered this issue, and thus, it goes without saying that a restriction notice was in force at the time the warrant of seizure was issued.

“From the definition of seizure under the Anti-Corruption Act no 3 of 2012, it is clear that both warrant and restriction notice have same effect. Therefore, applying for a warrant of seizure on a properties subject of a restriction notice was nothing but an abuse of process,” the ruling read in part.

Magistrate Mwaba charged the warrant of seizure was irregularly issued as an affidavit in support was not filed in court as required by law.

“To cap it all, the said warrant of seizure does not serve the purpose for which it was intended. And even if it did, it could still not be in order to have both warrant of seizure and restriction notice on the same properties in force at the same time,” he ruled.

“For the foregoing, the application to set aside the document which prima facie is warrant of seizure is allowed.”