Opposition leaders Hakainde Hichilema and his vice for Administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba were on Tuesday denied access to visit over eight UPND incarcerated members currently detained at Kamfinsa Correctional Facility on aggravated robbery charges.
On Monday, Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo was allowed time to see and chat with the UPND officials when he officiated at the 2016 Africa Correctional Day celebrations at Kamfinsa Correctional Facility.
But Kamfinsa Commanding officer in Charge James Nkoloma said according to instructions received, Mr Hichilema and his vice president must not be allowed to visit the arrested members.
Mr Nkoloma maintained that Mr. Hichilema and his entourage must return to Lusaka as they were not going to be given a chance to visit the arrested members.
He however stated that the UPND President must instead write to state house through the Home Affairs ministry seeking permission to visit his party incarcerated members.
Mr. Hichilema and his entourage arrived at Kamfinsa prisons at exactly 10 hours and were made to wait for unsuccessful clearance for over 3hours.
Mr Hichilema described the situation as unfortunate.
And addressing UPND members who had accompanied him, Mr Hichilema described the move as a total sign of dictatorship and infringement of human rights.
He wonders why President Edgar Lungu can begin putting restrictions for him and his vice president from visiting party members arrested.
The UPND President however called on the country to rise against such injustices.
He says it is uncalled for not to allow him and his vice president from visiting the arrested members when is it their right.
Mr. Hichilema disclosed that earlier in the week, his entourage was granted access to visit his arrested party members by the office of the Zambia prisons commission office.
“We made prior arrangements in Lusaka through the relevant government departments such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Prison Service to come and visit our incarcerated colleagues in the Copperbelt. We arrived at Kamfinsa Prison Correctional facility as guided and were well received by the officers here. But to our surprise, after peaceful waiting for 3 hours, the officers told us they have been instructed not to allow us to see our colleagues, and that we needed a permit,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said this is despite the fact that there is no legal requirements anywhere in Zambia or indeed in the world that stops anyone from visiting people in prisons, hospitals, and other unfortunate situations.
“Infact Zambia being a Christian nation, even the Bible says “Matthew 25:35-36 NIV, For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”
Mr Hichilema said this is the sad state of affairs now in Zambia where our rights and freedoms are daily being restricted even to visit family members in prisons and other such unfortunate incidences.
“You keep detaining and maiming our people yet the friends and relatives are now not allowed to visit them,” he said.
Over eight UPND members among them, Provincial Chairman for Copperbelt Mr Elisha Matambo were arrested during elections after they intercepted a vehicle suspected to have been carrying pre marked ballot papers but were later slapped with a case of aggravated robbery.