Zambia: Opposition leader arrested
Zambia’s main opposition leader was arrested Monday and charged with publishing false information after he claimed that ruling party youth were being trained by Sudanese militia, police said.
Hakainde Hichilema, the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), made the statement at a press conference on June 11. He appeared briefly before a magistrate in the capital Lusaka and was released on bail of 30 million kwacha ($6,000).
“I understand the charge and I deny it,” Hichilema said in court.
According to the charge sheet, Hichilema’s comments were intended to cause fear and alarm to the public.
The charismatic leader blamed President Michael Sata for orchestrating his arrest.
“The instructions are from Michael Sata, he is a brutal man. Sata is a brutal man but this will not take him anywhere,” he told journalists outside court.
If convicted, Hichilema faces a maximum jail sentence of five years.-AFP