18 April 2017

Zambia: South Chiefs Demand Hichilema Release - Denied Access to Jailed Opposition Leader

Photo: PHOTOESSAY: More Voices Demand Release of Detained Zambian Opposition Leader

Zambia's opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has been charged with treason for allegedly obstructing President Edgar …

Eleven traditional leaders from Southern province were today denied access to incarcerated UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.

The traditional leaders comprising among others senior chief Monze, Chief Chona, Chief Macha, senior Chief Mukuni, Chief Chikanta and chieftainess Mwenda.

The chiefs were turned away at Lilayi Training College and directed to seek permission at the police headquarters were they were also turned away.

They were advised that the House of Chiefs should write to the Ministry of Home Affairs on their request to see Hichilema in incarceration.

After having failed on their mission, the traditional leaders headed to Hichilema's residence where they consoled the family members before holding a media briefing.

Addressing the media Chief Chikanta demanded for the immediate release of Hichilema alleging that the allegations were hinged on victimization.

He said that there was selective application of the law in the country.

Meanwhile Southern Province police commissioner Bonny Kapeso has put the service on alert for possible trouble on Tuesday.

Kapeso has directed police officers to be in riot gear in anticipation of protests in the UPND dominated areas.

Hichilema is due to appear before the High Court after his application for a writ a habeas corpus was adjourned to Tuesday.


The Police must take full responsibility for this action. We therefore demand the dropping of all charges against him and that he must be released immediately and unconditionally as these charges have no merit at law. Besides he is now not well and needs to be taken to a hospital of his choice. Should this not take place and something happens to him, Mr Lungu and his government will bear full responsibility.

What we notice is a system of selective justice by the police where the opposition, independent media and other civil society organisations with dissenting views are criminalized while ruling party offenders are left scot free.

We call for an end to intimidation and arrests of all dissenting voices including opposition leaders and their members. The judicial system has failed the people of Zambia and we demand that the ICC must hear the petition case to the satisfaction of all parties.

This is the only way peace can reign our land. We have arrived at these conclusions for the following reasons:

1. In 2012, Known cadres in Ndola attacked Mr. Hichilema who had to flee from the radio station through the roof. Perpetrators of this attack have not been apprehended to date.

2. In 2015, Patriotic Front cadres threw stones at the helicopter carrying Mr. Hichilema's presidential campaign team in Shiwang'andu. The same was repeated in 2016 when the same cadres attempted to burn the helicopter on the ground. The Member of Parliament who led the attack was thereby rewarded with the position of Home Affairs Minister.

3. In 2016, ruling party cadres attempted to kill Mr. Hichilema at Moba Hotel in Kitwe and UPND security disarmed them and reported the matter to police. There has been no police action to date.

4. On 8th July 2016, Davis Chama shot an innocent citizen in Mulobezi and he has since been rewarded with the position of Defense Minister.

5. Boswell Muswani, Officer Commanding, Lusaka Province, shot a UPND member at the high court and has never been reprimanded and now is in charge of most police operations such as the blocking of the UPND press conference at Chainama hotel and the raid at Hichilema's residence last Sunday.

6. The killers of Mapenzi Chibulo, a UPND member in the 2016 election campaigns have not been apprehended up to now.

As custodians of peace and tradition, and leaders of the 15 million Zambians we are duty bound to call for law and order, peace, unity and stability in the country and we therefore demand that:

1. Our son Mr. Hichilema must be released forthwith and those responsible for aggravated robbery at his residence be brought to book by the police command.

2. We demand that Mr Hichilema be availed urgent medical care and if his health deteorates any further, Mr Lungu and his government will be held rensponsible.

3. Let the Petition be heard and moved to ICC so that tensions and regional divisions are thereby resolved

4. Ethnic insults and ridicule as expressed clearly by PF leaders, Davis Chama, Mumbi Phiri, Chishimba Kambwili, Frank Bwalya, Bowman Lusambo and others must be criminalised and ended forthwith.

We are your Royal Highnesses; -

Chief Macha - Chief Mukuni -

Chief Chikanta - Chief Shakumbila - Chief Hamusonde - Chief Monze - Chief Mukobela - Chieftainess Mwenda - Chief Chona . Chief Ishima

Chief Mwenda Chief Mwenekandala

Chief Moono and Chief Chibuluma

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