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Zambia opposition leader and deputy released on $2500 bail each

Zambia opposition leader and deputy released on $2500 bail each

Zambia

Zambia’s opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema has confirmed that he and his deputy, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, have been granted 25,000 kwacha ($2,500) bail each on charges of unlawful assembly and engaging in seditious practices.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) leader and his deputy pleaded not guilty to the charges. He confirmed the charges and reappearance in a facebook post on Thursday.

‘‘We now take this opportunity to inform you that we have pleaded not guilty to allegations of unlawful assembly and seditious practices.

Justice or no justice, we are resolved to even demonstrate that PF and Mr Edgar Lungu will not succeed in turning our country into a one party state.

‘‘During our court hearing, our lawyers applied for bail on grounds that the alleged offences are bailable. We have since been granted bail of 25,000 kwacha, cash each.

‘‘Ndola Magistrate judge John Mboozi also stated that the alleged committed offences are misdemeanors and bailable hence granting us bail. Our matter has since adjourned to 19th October, 2016 for mention,’‘ his post read.

Hichelima had alleged after their arrest that food, water and beddings brought for them by his legal team were not given to them by the police.

The charges against them are believed to be related to an impromptu speech he gave on 26 September in the central city of Mpongwe, Reuters reports quoting police.

Mr Hichilema lost the August 11 presidential election to incumbent Edgar Lungu, but has maintained that the electoral body colluded with government to rig the process. He filed a case in the Constitutional Court but it was dismissed over a technicality.

In an earlier post on Facebook he said: “Justice or no justice, we are resolved to even demonstrate that PF and Mr Edgar Lungu will not succeed in turning our country into a one party state.”