Zambia cops grill opposition leader over spy claims

2015-03-04 21:03
Zambia's opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema stands next to supporters at the Lusaka magistrate court. (Joseph Mwenda, AFP)

Zambia's opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema stands next to supporters at the Lusaka magistrate court. (Joseph Mwenda, AFP)

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Lusaka - Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was questioned by police on Wednesday over his claims that he receives intelligence reports before they reach President Edgar Lungu.

Police spokesperson Charity Chanda said Hichilema, who lost the January vote to Lungu by a slim margin, was warned over the allegations he made at a news conference last month.

"We have recorded a warn-and-caution statement from the UPND leader over the statements he made at the press briefing on 25 February.

"During the briefing he stated that he gets intelligence information before it gets to the president," said Chanda.

Chanda said that the statements by Hichilema bordered on violation of the country's state security laws.

The leader of the United Party for National Development was questioned for two hours.

His lawyer Jack Mwiimbu told reporters that it was clear that the police were acting on instructions from Lungu.

"There is political interference from the president," he added.

"Our client is not facing a treasonable offence but we are dismayed over this issue," he said.

Hichilema narrowly lost the vote to Lungu by just under two percentage points in an election held to replace Michael Sata, who died in office.

He criticised the election as a sham, alleging irregularities in the voting process.

Read more on:    hakainde hichilema  |  edgar lungu  |  zambia  |  southern africa

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