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Zambia police arrests over 130 rioting opposition supporters

Zambia police arrests over 130 rioting opposition supporters

Zambia

Police in Zambia say they have arrested 133 supporters of the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND). The supporters had gone on riot in the country’s south, an opposition stronghold, after incumbent Edgar Lungu was declared winner of the August 11 presidential polls.

Riot police were deployed hours after the official declaration of Lungu when reports emerged of riots in the south. ‘‘They targeted perceived supporters of the ruling party, destroying their property,’‘ police chief in the Southern province Godwin Phiri told Reuters.

‘‘It is like this was well planned and they were just waiting for the winner to be declared. Calm has now returned following the arrests,’‘ he added.

It is like this was well planned and they were just waiting for the winner to be declared. Calm has now returned following the arrests

President Lungu who run on the ticket of the Patriotic Front got 50.35% of votes cast whiles the UPND led by Hakainde Hichilema polled 47.67% of the votes according to official results.

Hichelima however served notice that he was going to appeal the results of the elections. The party’s lawyer said results had been manipulated by the government and the electoral body to favour Lungu.

Lawyer Jack Mwiimbu told journalists that the UPND had started processes of appeal in court, ‘‘We have evidence to the effect that votes for Hakainde Hichilema have been deliberately reduced in collusion with the Electoral Commission of Zambia,’‘ he said.

He added that the party was confident that the constitutional court would ‘‘rise above board and declare the results a nullity.’‘

In a statement posted on his facebook page, Hichilema, enumerated reasons why there was the need for a recount of votes especially in the capital Lusaka.

Among others, he cited the withholding of official results from members of the UPND, intimidation of their polling agents, unusual voting figures where number of votes exceeded registered voters and cases of missing results that were retrieved from a bin.