Lungu 'summons' DA, EFF over 'interference' in Zambian politics

2017-08-19 10:45
President Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

President Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

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Pretoria - Zambian president Edgar Lungu has "summoned" the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters to explain their concerns about Zambia to him.

In a statement by the Zambian High Commission issued before the start of the Southern African Development Community summit in Pretoria on Saturday, Lungu expressed "concern that the two opposition parties appeared to disrespect the sovereignty of Zambia and had interfered with the domestic affairs of countries like Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zimbabwe".

He said "the two parties were creating a dangerous precedence [sic] that was likely to encourage political interference across borders".

Zambian High Commissioner Emmanuel Mwamba, who issued the statement, said he had already "started the process of preparing for the proposed meetings" which would involve DA leader Mmusi Maimane and EFF leader Julius Malema.

Neither party was immediately available for comment.

According to the press statement, Lungu was welcomed "by a cheering crowd upon arrival" at his hotel in South Africa.

Maimane was expelled from Zambia in May after going there to attend the trial of jailed opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, which he has described as a "political witch-hunt" by Lungu.

The charges were dropped this week and Hichilema released from prison, a moved welcomed by the DA as "the first step towards restoring democracy in Zambia".

Hichilema, who narrowly lost out to Lungu in a presidential election a year ago, leads the United Party for National Development, described by the DA as a "sister party" and a co-member of the Southern African Partnership for Democratic Change, a regional network of opposition parties chaired by Maimane.

Read more on:    da  |  eff  |  mmusi mai­mane  |  edgar lungu  |  julius malema  |  zambia  |  sa  |  southern africa

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