News / Africa

    Zambia Opposition Leader Denies Party Violence

    Hakainde Hichilema, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leader and presidential candidate for Zambia's upcoming elections, greets his supporters at Zingalume compound in Lusaka, September 26, 2006. Hakainde Hichilema, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leader and presidential candidate for Zambia's upcoming elections, greets his supporters at Zingalume compound in Lusaka, September 26, 2006.
    x
    Hakainde Hichilema, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leader and presidential candidate for Zambia's upcoming elections, greets his supporters at Zingalume compound in Lusaka, September 26, 2006.
    Hakainde Hichilema, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leader and presidential candidate for Zambia's upcoming elections, greets his supporters at Zingalume compound in Lusaka, September 26, 2006.
    Peter Clottey
    The leader of Zambia’s opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has denied accusations that the group’s political activities create tensions and trigger violence.

    Hakainde Hichilema says his party is not to blame for protests that have turned violent.

    “There is no truth in that [accusation] at all,” said Hichilema. “This is the taking away of the rights of the citizens to assemble and taking away our freedom to speak, including our fundamental rights of association.”

    His comments came after police denied the UPND a permit to hold a planned rally Sunday in the capital, Lusaka. Lusaka Division police commissioner Joyce Kasosa said police did not trust the UPND to hold a peaceful rally after a party gathering last week in which a policeman was assaulted.

    “The police [are] hiding behind the government and taking extreme views and this is destroying the democratic tenets on a day-by-day basis,” said Hichilema.

    “What explanation would they give when [there is] a high court order for our rally to proceed, but the government and the police refused to respect the rule of law? They basically overruled a court’s decision and this does not happen in a democracy, but unfortunately, it is happening in Zambia,” he added.

    Hichilema warned that Zambia’s democracy would be threatened if the government uses state institutions to intimidate and harass opposition groups.

    Some Zambians have expressed concern that pronouncements and activities of opposition parties create tension, which they said, often result in violent clashes between their supporters and the police.

    Hichilema was recently arrested and charged with defaming President Michael Sata, which is a crime under the constitution. He denies the charges.

    “I made a statement that the government should not protect ministers from prosecution for corruption,” asked Hichilema. “How can that be antagonistic, especially when you are talking about a party and a government, which purports that they are fighting corruption?”  

    Meanwhile, the UPND says it will proceed with its planned rally this weekend despite the police ban.

    “The ruling is clear that police should be notified and we did that and we shall go ahead and if they stop us, then the police will be causing anarchy and violence because they don’t have powers to stop a meeting,” said UPND deputy secretary-general Kuchunga Simusamba.

    Police officials say they are willing to meet with the opposition group in an effort to prevent any clashes.

    “We are open for dialogue. They have not come to us,” said police commissioner Joyce Kasosa.

    Clottey interview with Hakainde Hichilema, UPND leader
    Clottey interview with Hakainde Hichilema, UPND leaderi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora