Zambia opposition: Lungu has created 'artificial crisis'

2016-10-24 12:59
Edgar Lungu. (File: AP)

Edgar Lungu. (File: AP)

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Lusaka - Zambian opposition party, The United Party for National Development (UPND) has reportedly urged its supporters to boycott the country's independence day celebrations on Monday.

According to New Zimbabwe, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema lashed out at the government, saying that the ruling party had created an "artificial crisis" within the country.

Hichilema told journalists in Lusaka that the decision to boycott the celebrations was meant to protest the economic hardships that the country was experiencing.

He also accused President Edgar Lungu's ruling Patriotic Front (PF) of political intimidation and harassment.

"We would be failing in our duties as leaders if we allowed our people to celebrate independence because there is nothing to celebrate amidst the artificial crisis by the ruling PF," Hichilema was quoted as saying. 

'Trumped up charges' 

He added that many people who were arrested leading up to the country's disputed August 11 elections were still being kept in prisons across the country.

Early this month, the UPND claimed that at least 2 000 of its supporters remained in police custody across the southern African country. 

Hichilema said at the time that his party supporters were detained on a variety of "trumped up charges" that were aimed at silencing the opposition.

He added that his party was sending lawyers everywhere to represent its detained members and that their detentions were attracting huge bail amounts.

Tension has remained in Zambia, two months after Lungu won the August 11 election by just over 100 000 votes. 

Hichilema has accused Lungu, the election commission and court judges of being guilty of fraud in the tightly contested vote.

Read more on:    pf  |  upnd  |  hakainde hichilema  |  zambia  |  southern africa

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