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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zambian police now arrest Opposition leader after overnight raid

LUSAKA 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 family.

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 a call-out.

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.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

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 Tuesday.

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 treasonable offense.

"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 properly.

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.
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Zambia human 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 him.

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 pre-trial detention.

The government, through its defense wings, also launched investigations into the matter although the results have not yet been published.
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Zambia cabinet 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 sitting.

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 statistical information.

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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SEE ALSO:

Zambian policemen block Opposition Press Conference

Zambian body probes soldier’s death inside Police Cells

Zambians differ over whether to consult Public on I.C.C.

Zambians deny taking 'out' position on ICC membership

Zambian farmers furious at reverse Bans on importation

Zambia announce new measure against Fake Churches

Zambia electricity utility applies for Power Tariff increase

           

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