News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Unhappy with Government ‘Intimidation’ Tactic

Hakainde Hichilema, then presidential candidate in Zambia's elections, greets his supporters at Zingalume compound in Lusaka, September 26, 2006.
Hakainde Hichilema, then presidential candidate in Zambia's 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) says the government is using state security agencies to intimidate party supporters and needs to stop the practice.

Hakainde Hichilema said President Michael Sata’s government is intolerant of dissenting views.

“This is a clear demonstration by the ruling party that they are intolerant to people with diverging views,” said Hichilema. "Secondly, it is a clear affront against democracy.

“They will like to silence everybody and anybody [and] that is not just us in the opposition and it is also the church,” he added. “Not long ago, they deported a Catholic priest who talked about the growing gap between the rich and the poor.”

Hichilema’s comments came after police searched offices of the UPND for what officials said were possible seditious materials.  Police said later they did not find any such materials.

UPND lawyers are now considering their next move after accusing the government of intimidation and harassment, Hichilema said.

The opposition leader also demanded that Defense Minister Geoffrey Mwamba prove his claims that the opposition had plotted to assassinate President Sata.

“I’m one of those people who has challenged the minister of defense to institute an investigation, as to who wants to assassinate the president,” Hichilema said. “I challenged the defense minister to substantiate, what he said, and I know what he said, has no validity, and this is unacceptable from a government minister.”                                

Hichilema was arrested recently after accusing the government of training a militia in Sudan to terrorize the opposition - an accusation the government denied.

Supporters of the opposition leader said the government used state institutions to take away constitutionally guaranteed rights of free expression following Hichilema’s arrest.

But Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni told VOA his government is making sure that the rule of law is respected by all Zambians.

“This gentleman was arrested and within a [span] of six hours he was taken before a court of law. He wasn’t detained or even questioned longer than necessary,” said Sakeni.

“The law [enforcers] do their business transparently and take matters before the courts of law," he added. "And as far as we are concerned as a government, we are on course.”

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

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid