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Zambian opposition chief gets treason charge for blocking presidential convoy

Zambian opposition chief gets treason charge for blocking presidential convoy


Zambia’s opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema (HH), has officially been charged with treason, police have confirmed. He is charged with five others.

According to police chief Kakoma Kanjanga, Hichilema was arrested for obstructing the motorcade of President Edgar Lungu, an action he described as reckless and criminal.

“It has been established that the opposition leader disobeyed police orders to clear the way, thereby putting the life of the head of state in danger,” Kanganja told reporters, adding “We have today jointly charged and arrested Mr Hichilema and five others with treason.”

Zambia:opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema formally charged (treason)hearing now re:habeous corpus (either be released or brought to court) pic.twitter.com/mkQVvCk1V2

— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) April 12, 2017

“I wish to reiterate that the actions by the opposition leader were unreasonable, reckless and criminal. Therefore members of the public are being warned that as police we are not going to watch such kind of behavior by any person, irrespective of their status,” he added.

Hichilema, an economist and wealthy businessman accused the president of deploying police to his residence to ‘kill’ him. He was arrested on Tuesday after police fired tear gas into his residence and forcibly arrested him.

Hichilema and his deputy, Geoffrey Mwambawa were charged with sedition on October 2016 and granted bail. The 54-year old has unsuccessfully ran for the top seat five times in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016.

Zambia's main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema formally charged with treason. The offence is non-bailable and carries a death sentence.

— Kennedy Gondwe (@KennedyGondwe) April 12, 2017

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