18 April 2017

Zambia: Frank Bwalya Mocks Hichilema - "He's Drinking Water From Jail"

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 …

Frank Bwalya, the Patriotic Front spokesperson, has mocked the incanceration of leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema saying he spent the Easter Holiday drinking water behind bars.

An excited Bwalya was addressing Patriotic Front members during a rally in Mbala. a meeting which the Head of State also addressed.

Bwalya, who spoke in his native Bemba, launched his speech with a narration of how three UPND cadres who he said were Hichilema's bodyguards were serving jail sentence for inflicting physical harm on him when he toured Southern Province.

He named the trio as Kelvin Conhill, Lawrence Sakala and Ackson Kambani Miyoba.

Bwalya said now that the trio were in jail, their master was equally behind bars for allegedly agitating political violence.

"Lelo alinwina amenshi ku buukwi..[today, he [Hichilema] is drinking water behind bars," the former Misa Zambia chairperson said moments before handing over the microphone to President Lungu.

Meanwhile, police have maintained that Hichilema is well despite an outcry about his deteriorating health.

"We would like to dispute the statement circulating on social media attributed to UPND Spokesperson Mr Charles Kakoma that the health of Mr Hakainde Hichilema is deteriorating in detention and that police have denied him medical attention.

"The truth of the matter is that from the time Mr Hichilema was detained, the police have been allowing Mr Hakainde Hichilema's personal doctor to visit him and conduct routine medical checks on him.

Statements such as the one attributed to Mr Charles Kakoma are misleading and bent on inciting members of the public and should be dismissed.

"We do realise as police that even those people who may be in detention who do not have personal doctors or Lawyers are taken for medical attention in instances where they become unwell whilst in detention because it is their constitutional right.

"One wonders why we could deny Mr Hichilema medical attention when he is just a suspect because even people who are convicted have got a right to medical attention.

"As police we will not take such unjustified statements lightly because they are aimed at disturbilising the security of the nation," says Esther Mwaata Katongo, the Zambia Police spokesperson.

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