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Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema pleads not guilty to treason charges

Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema pleads not guilty to treason charges

Zambia

Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has denied plotting to overthrow the government when he appeared in a Lusaka court on Monday.

The case has stoked political tensions in the country after Hichilema and five others were arrested in April.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti told a media briefing that the image of Zambia was being soiled on the international community by political events happening at the moment.

“The recent events we find them very retrogressive. We find them as a reversal of the progressive gains that Zambia has made over the years. We find it regrettable that, suddenly, Zambia is now known for the wrong reasons,” said Tendai.

The opposition has been saying that the government has been becoming increasingly dictatorial.

“The main and important reason why we’re here is to pledge our solidarity to our sister party, the UPND, that we are with you, that we understand and acknowledge that no party is an island,” said Steven Mokgalapa, South Africa’s Democratic Alliance Representative.

In July, President Edgar Lungu imposed a state of emergency to deal with what he called acts of sabotage by the opposition including a string of arson attacks.

“The banning of political newspapers, the incarceration of opposition, political violence, the imposition of a state of emergency, the judgement of African leaders and visitors in your country — we think that it is unacceptable,” Tendai said.

Reuters

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