Monday, 13 January 2014

Zambia Police Service Warns, Cautions Opposition Leader Over Militia Remark

By Paul Shalala

There was confusion at Woodlands Police station in Lusaka this morning when opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema appeared for interviews.

Mr Hichilema who arrived at 09:53hrs together with his lawyers and senior party officials, failed to enter the Police station.

As the opposition leader made his way inside the Police station, hundreds of UPND cadres broke the Police cordon and tried to go in with their leader.

Police in riot gear dispersed the cadres forcing Mr Hichilema's security team to whisk him away as Police officers beat whoever was near the Police station.

Prime TV reporter Kalan Muchima sustained a cut on his fingers while UPND Chikankata member of parliament Munji Haabenzu was picked up and roughed up by police but was later released.

Mr Habeenzu described his harassment as barbaric and unprofessional.

About two hours after he was whisked away, Mr Hichilema reappeared at Woodlands Police Station at around 11:13hrs and went to the enquiries office.

Initially, Mr Hichilema refused to be ushered into the interviewing room citing security reasons.

After 20 minutes of heated negotiations, Mr Hichilema was ushered into the interviewing room were a warn and caution statement was recorded.

Zambia Police Spokesperson Charity Munganga-Chanda said Police officers had recorded a warn and caution statement from the opposition following his recent statement that the ruling Patriotic Front had sent militias to Kasama to harass opposition ABZ President Fr Frank Bwalya.

Close to an hour after he entered the interview room, Mr Hichilema emerged with his lawyer Sakwiba Sikota who described the whole episode as politically motivated.

Mr Hichillema was hesitant to comment as he issued brief remarks agreeing with his lawyer's sentiments.

Police have released Mr Hichilema without charge as investigations into his matter continue.

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