Zambia (Xinhua) -- Police have
finally picked up Zambia’s leading opposition leader for
questioning after an overnight siege at his residence,
his party said on Tuesday.
Charles Kakoma, the
spokesperson of the United Party for National
Development (UPND), confirmed that Hakainde Hichilema
was picked around mid-morning and taken to Woodlands
Police Station in Lusaka, the country’s capital for
questioning and later taken to a police training
college, Lilayi, on the outskirts of the city.
He was accompanied to the police station by his
lawyers and some senior party officials.
He however said the opposition leader has not been
officially charged although reports indicate that it has
to do with a Saturday incident where Hichilema’s convoy
allegedly blocked President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade in
the western part of the country.
Police raided the opposition leader’s residence on
Monday night in a bid to arrest him.
According to reports, the police switched off power
to the house, blocked the main roads and broke down the
gates to gain access into the house before firing
teargas into the house, choking the opposition leader’s
Some of the party’s senior leaders and journalists
who went to the residence situated in east of the city
were assaulted by the police.
The overnight raid has since received condemnation
from some quarters with an international lawyer based in
the United States Elias Munshya Wa Munshya saying it was
unconstitutional and unlawful because the opposition
leader was not a criminal who had refused to respond to
But the police have defended the raid, saying the
officers had an objective of raiding the house.
The police have since promised to give a detailed
statement after the operations.
Hichilema narrowly lost to Lungu in last year’s
elections but has refused to recognize him as winner of
the election, saying the vote was stolen.
Police raid Zambia
opposition leader’s house
LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) --
Armed police raided the house of Zambia’s
leading opposition leader on Monday with a view to
arresting him, his vice confirmed the incident on
Hundreds of police officers raided the house of
Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the United Party for
National Development (UPND) with a view to arresting him
following allegations that his entourage blocked
President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade in the western part of
the country on Saturday.
His vice, Geoffrey Mwaamba, told reporters that the
police have been instructed to arrest the opposition
leader and charge him with treason.
"They are claiming that he has committed a
"Very sad indeed over what is happening in Zambia.
"Edgar has become a dictator," he said.
He said what was happening in the country has never
happened before and added that he was also ready to be
arrested and sent to jail.
He said what happened in Mongu town, the provincial
of western Zambia on Saturday should not be blamed on
the opposition but the police who failed to man the road
Efforts to get a comment from the police proved
futile as the spokesperson could not respond to calls.
According to local media, some journalists and senior
party officials were assaulted when they went to the
residence of the opposition leader situated on the
eastern outskirts of Lusaka, the country’s capital.
The opposition leader has come under attack after
television footages showed his convoy traveling side by
side with Lungu’s motorcade on a road in western
Zambia’s Mongu district.
But the opposition party has denied accusations that
it blocked Lungu’s motorcade.
rights body releases report on soldier’s death
inside police cells
LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) --
Zambia’s human rights body on
Tuesday released findings of its report on the death of
a soldier inside police cells last month.
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) launched
independent investigations into the death of Flight
Sergeant Mark Choongwa who died after being brutally
beaten at Woodlands Police Station in the country’s
capital Lusaka, after he was detained on a traffic
offence last month.
The human rights body launched investigations after
conflicting reports on the cause of his death, with
police officers claiming he was assaulted by his fellow
inmates while his family accused the police of killing
Mudford Mwandenga, chairperson of the human right’s
body said the investigations have revealed that the
police officers used excessive force and unlawfully
detained the soldier.
He said in a statement that investigations revealed
different versions by different witnesses interviewed
and has since recommended the opening of an inquest into
the matter which would help identify who should be
charged with his murder.
The human rights body further said evidence adduced
by all witnesses showed that the decision to detain the
soldier was arbitrary and called on the police command
to take action against excessive use of force and
The government, through its defense wings, also
launched investigations into the matter although the
results have not yet been published.
approves statistics bill
LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) --
Zambia’s cabinet has approved
a bill aimed at establishing an effective and efficient
national statistics system, its Ministry of Development
Planning said on Tuesday.
The ministry said the cabinet approved the National
Strategy for the Development of Statistics Bill after it
was presented by Minister of Development Planning Lucky
Mulusa last week.
The main objective of the bill is to establish an
effective and efficient national statistical system that
was responsive to the data information requirement of a
modern smart Zambia, according to a statement.
According to the statement, the other objective of
the bill was to strengthen statistics legislation so
that it could provide an enabling environment for the
attainment of the intended objectives.
The current 1964 statistics law is outdated and
therefore is not responsive to the data needs of a
complex modern society, it added.
The bill was expected to be presented before
parliament for enactment into law during the next
The bill also provides for the establishment of a
semi-autonomous statistics agency which will have
adequate authority to coordinate the establishment of an
integrated national statistical system which, among
other things, will develop a comprehensive national
statistical database along with sector databases to
ensure reliable, comprehensive and harmonized
It is envisaged that a semi-autonomous statistics
agency will improve efficiency in statistical production
and perceived impartiality, credibility and transparency
of official statistics and improve coordination of
national statistical system.
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