12 April 2017

Zambia: Hichilema's Wife - They Just Wanted to Kill My Husband - I Collapsed After Inhaling Gas

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 …

Leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema's wife says the state is after her husband's life.

Narrating the midnight ordeal, Mutinta Hichilema says she collapsed as a result of excessive chemical discharge sprayed at their private residence.

Hichilema has since been arrested and charged with treason for allegedly obstructing a presidential motorcade in Mongu.

"What happened is that they just wanted to kill my husband - they wanted to kill my husband!

"But this war which they have started is like they are sitting on a volcano which is going to erupt and it will be so difficult for them to contain it! We were in one of the rooms from 22:00 hours [and] they started beating all our workers.

"All of them (workers) are now in police cells. They tortured them, brutalised them and then they were asking 'where is your boss?'

"At first, the workers didn't want to say but one of them brought them to our room there. They started beating him and the boy was crying. HH then told me 'my friend, let me go out because these people are going to kill my workers' but I said 'you are not going out [because] it's you they want. Why do they want to pick you up at 22:00 hours?'," narrated Mutinta.

She wondered why police could not summon Hichilema as per standard procedure.

"All these years, Hakainde has remained a law-abiding citizen - when he is called by the police, he is always there but I don't know what went wrong this time around that they should come at 22:00 hours to 23:00 hours.

"I resisted that he doesn't come out because I didn't know where they wanted to take him. I said there is no witness here apart from the police; they are going to kill you where they will take you," Mutinta explained.

"The boy they brought to our room was crying uncontrollably and I don't know whether they were touching his private parts; he cried! They started throwing tear gas in the room where we were.

"I'm asthmatic and so, I fainted twice and our last born was also there. I don't know where we are going with this government [because] there is no Zambia any more, I'm telling you.

"I think women are more stronger than men and we have to fight this brutal government. Let's all come together and fight, otherwise we'll have no country called Zambia."

Mutinta questioned why police transferred Hichilema from Woodlands to Lilayi where he was charged with treason.

"When they took my husband here, they said they were taking him to Woodlands but they have now taken him to Lilayi. I have never heard of any political detainee who is taken to Lilayi!" Mutinta said.

She alter took some journalists to more than 15 rooms of the house where police caused extensive damage to glass doors, ceiling boards and other electrical appliances.

Carpets in all the rooms were turned upside down and beds re-arranged while all the rooms were marred with teargas thrown on Monday night.

The officers, usually kept hungry, also broke into the kitchen, whose doors they brought down and they emptied the fridge of all kinds of fruits in it.

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