Zambia police charge MP with hate speech for 'Indian jibe'

2019-02-26 05:17
Former Zambian minister Chishimba Kambwili. (Dawood Salim, AFP)

Former Zambian minister Chishimba Kambwili. (Dawood Salim, AFP)

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

Authorities in Zambia charged a prominent ruling party MP, Chishimba Kambwili, with hate speech on Monday for allegedly telling an ethnic Indian worker he was stealing local jobs.

Kambwili, a fierce critic of President Edgar Lungu, allegedly told an Indian-origin road worker that his occupation should be reserved for indigenous Zambians.

A clip purporting to show the incident went viral on social media last week, prompting the government to issue a rebuke.

Kambwili, 49, attended Lusaka central police station on Monday, supported by opposition leaders including United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema.

Kambwili's supporters chanted anti-government songs denouncing official corruption.

"Police in Lusaka have arrested and charged Chishimba Kambwili with expression or showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for persons because of race, tribe or place of origin," said police spokesperson Esther Katongo in a statement.

Kambwili, who was briefly minister of information and broadcasting, was denied bail and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

Lungu has been accused of using the legal process to suppress his critics. In 2017, Hichilema was arrested and charged with treason after his motorcade apparently failed to stop for the president's own road convoy.

Hichilema said the denial of bail demonstrated what he called Lungu's authoritarian instincts.

"We as Zambians must know that we have a tyrant in office. Leadership of tyrants have not stayed in power for too long. Don't be afraid as Zambians and let us unify to remove these tyrants," he said.

"Kambwili is not a flight risk and the police should have accorded him bond (bail). This thing should come to an end and as Zambians we have to unite," Elias Chipimo, another opposition leader, told journalists.

If convicted Kambwili faces up to two years' jail.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    zambia  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.