Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

18 January 2013

Zambia: Nevers Mumba Calls Hichilema's Arrest Criminal

Photo: Zambia Reports
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, president of the United Party for National Development (UPND).

MMD president Dr Nevers Mumba has condemned the arrest of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema describing it as ridiculous and criminal.

Hichilema has been arrested and charged with defamation of the president.

Dr Mumba, who himself is facing flimsy charges, said the PF action to continue arresting opposition political party leaders is not only ridiculous but criminal.

"This is ridiculous and it is criminal not from us but from those who wish to take away our rights and liberties but I can promise them that they won't take it away," Dr Mumba said.

After the arrest, Hichilema appeared in the Lusaka magistrate's court yesterday afternoon where he was granted bail of K5 million.

The state failed to continue with the case saying the court records were incomplete.

The charge is based on his statement that President Michael Sata has instructed the

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to stop its investigations against the alleged corrupt activities by PF national secretary Wynter Kabimba.

President Sata's democratic governance record is slowing coming in question following a heavy handed assault by police, under his instructions, on political figures and individual critical of his administration.

Journalists that run critical articles and documentaries in the run up to the elections and whose work is now on internet via youtube like Chanda Chimba III, Davis Mataka and media consultant Ngande Mwanajiti are facing charges before court.

They were recently arrested together with former information minister Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha and former information permanent secretary Amos Malupenga.

Dr Mumba and four of his members of parliament were also recently arrested for unlawful assembly after they visited a traditional leader, Chief Nkana, on the Copperbelt. Dr Mumba, like Hichilema, are also facing separate charges of publishing information with intent to cause alarm.

Police in Zambia, using a colonial law through the Public Order Act, are stopping opposition parties to hold public meetings, visiting markets and anyone doing so is cited for breach of peace.

Observers are condemning President Sata's style of administration as an emerging dictatorial regime which a young democracy like Zambia did not anticipate when giving him the mandate to govern in September 2011.

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