Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo visited jailed Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema in prison after seeking permission from President Edgar Lungu.
Obasanjo went to the Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison on Saturday where he had a discussion with Hichilema who was arrested in April and charged with treason for blocking the motorcade of the president.
“I am happy that His Excellency allowed me to visit and I had a two-hour discussion with the opposition leader … I get an impression from the opposition leader that 2016 is no longer an issue but about what happens in the future and how can we do things better,” he told reporters after the visit.
“I see that the gap between the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and His Excellency the President is narrowing and I think that we can move the country forward and put the issues of 2016 behind us,” he added.
I see that the gap between the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and His Excellency the President is narrowing and I think that we can move the country forward and put the issues of 2016 behind us.
Obasanjo also met with President Lungu after visiting the prison. The details of that meeting were not disclosed.
He said he is fully committed to ensuring peace and stability in the country and the African region starting with resolving the differences between Hichilema and Lungu.
According to local media Lusaka Times, Obasanjo said Hichilema must accept the 2016 election results and recognise Lungu as president to bring peace.
Hakainde Hichilema has recently called for unconditional dialogue with the ruling party to find solutions to Zambia’s problems.President Lungu has declared clearly that the justice system will take its course against anyone who go against the law.
Hichilema was moved from a prison in Lusaka to the Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison outside the capital on June 9. His case is awaiting allocation to a High Court judge who will then set the dates for trial.