Zambia police beat opposition activists

2014-01-13 21:14
Roman Catholic priest Frank Bwalya and supporters holding red cards to display their displeasure with the government as they attend a rally in front of the National Assembly in Lusaka. (Thomas Nsama, AFP)

Roman Catholic priest Frank Bwalya and supporters holding red cards to display their displeasure with the government as they attend a rally in front of the National Assembly in Lusaka. (Thomas Nsama, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lusaka - Zambian police on Monday used batons and teargas on a crowd of opposition activists gathered outside a police station in the capital where their leader had been summoned, an AFP reporter witnessed.

Hundreds of people turned out to support Hakainde Hichilema, who leads Zambia's third largest opposition party, as he arrived at the police station to face a charge of spreading false information.

Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), is accused of making false allegations that militia were attempting to harm opposition politician, Frank Bwalya.

Bwalya was charged with defamation last week after he compared the president to a potato.

Hichilema's supporters said they feared he could be poisoned while in police custody and were there to provide protection.

"I came to give support to my president. The police acted unprofessionally by teargassing our leader, and they have beaten me badly," said one, Munji Habenzu, limping from the injury.

"This is total rubbish and Zambians should wake up and not allow this to continue."

A journalist from the privately owned broadcaster Prime Television and a lawmaker from Hichilema's party were among the injured.

Hichilema decried what he called the "brutal Sata state" - a reference to Zambia's President Michael Sata.

Police, however, defended the use of force.

False news

"There is no way we could have handled them with care, one of our officers was also attacked," said police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda.

Hichilema was interrogated and given a formal warning before being released.

"We have recorded a ...statement for the offence of publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm," said Chanda.

He could still be arrested when police have completed investigations, his lawyer Sakwiba Sikota said.

It is not the first time Hichilema has been in trouble with authorities. In 2012 he was arrested on similar charges after claiming that the ruling Patriotic Front was planning to send young people to Sudan to train as militias.

Sata's government came to power 2011 and has come under fire for its treatment of opposition figures.

Several opposition leaders including the country's former president Rupiah Banda are facing criminal charges.

Read more on:    michael sata  |  zambia  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.