Zambia's main opposition leader charged with treason

2017-04-11 22:14
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

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

Lusaka - Zambia's main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, has been charged with treason after he was accused of obstructing the motorcade of President Edgar Lungu.

Under the country's penal code, treason carries a death sentence.

Authorities allege that Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development, blocked Lungu's motorcade with his own convoy of vehicles during a traditional ceremony in Zambia's Western Province over the weekend. They say Hichilema's motorcade did not yield after presidential security guards signalled for it to get out of the way.

Polling irregularities

The opposition party has denied any wrongdoing. Hichilema was taken to a police station in Lusaka on Tuesday after officers raided his home overnight. Treason is a non-bailable offence under Zambian law, meaning that he will stay in custody until trial.

"The charge is nonsensical and no sensible lawyer can come up with such a charge," said Hichilema's lawyer, Jack Mwiimbu. "The unfortunate part is that the police are being unprofessional considering that it is the (ruling party) who have been proposing that HH must be charged with treason."

Hichilema, who lost an August election to Lungu, the incumbent, alleged polling irregularities after the vote and went to court. The nation's top court then rejected an opposition petition to block Lungu's inauguration.

Hichilema has refused to recognise Lungu as president, arguing that his party still has a case pending and could only recognise him once that is dealt with.

Read more on:    hakainde hichilema  |  edgar lungu  |  zambia  |  elections  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.