Zambian opposition leader launches petitions against treason charge

The treason charges against Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema for failing to move aside for the presidential motorcade earlier this year are still being upheld. Hichilema’s legal team maintain the traffic violation did not represent an attempt to topple the government and as such the treason charges should be dropped. Petitions have been taken to both the High Court and Constitutional Court in an attempt to strike out the criminal procedure which forbids those who have committed capital offenses from securing bail, as well as a further petition to quash his charges completely So far both have been unsuccessful. In May, Mmusi Maimane South Africa’s main opposition leader was denied entry to Zambia as he attempted to show his support for Hichilema. Hichilema was recently moved to a high security prison outside of the capital, a move which has been condemned as unconstitutional by his party the UPND. In a recent letter written by Hichilema and sent from prison he states ‘Nothing stops us communicating to the world. They will throw us in jail some more if they wish but that is the fight we embarked on’. Many commentators have questioned what the ongoing situation will mean for the nation’s political climate, which until recently has largely been heralded as one of the more stable in the region.

About the Author

Robyn K