Opposition leaders Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Mwamba spent the night in police cells at Luanshya Police Station without any access to food and water.
Attempts by UPND lawyers to send food, water and their own beddings and warm clothing were unsuccessful after the police refused.
And Mr Hichilema has told his supporters from inside the police cell to remain strong and united.
“Vice President GBM and myself would like to express our gratitude to all our supporters and sympathisers for standing with us and encouraging us to remain strong. We have so far been denied food, water and our own beddings and warm clothing being brought by our legal team,” Mr Hichilema said.
“All the same we believe in the living God and your numerous messages of encouragement keep strengthening us and we want to call on you out there to remain strong as you join the struggle for the defence of our democracy.”
He added, “As we have been saying, UPND is now no longer just a political party but a freedom movement aimed at liberating the people of Zambia.”
And MMD President Nevers Mumba condemned the arrest of Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba.
“How interesting the thought is, that on a day that is nationally recognised as a day to respect, honour and appreciate our teachers, this government has still not paid our teachers and instead, they are busy persecuting and intimidating the notable opposition leadership, even to the point of arrest on trumped up charges such as these. I wonder how arresting HH and GBM will sort out the teachers’ problems,” Dr Mumba said.
“I wish to remind this leadership that as they prepare to host another day of national prayers on the 18th, they must remember that there is a God in heaven who searches and is a discerner of hearts, and that as long as this great nation remains, their oppression, marginalisation, and intimidation of others will not go on forever, and that even if they try and sugar coat this dictatorship in a fake garb of Christianity, they cannot, and will not, defeat the collective will and destiny of the people.”
He added, “For those who choose to remain silent in the face of this intimidation, remember silence, sometimes, is betrayal. Today, it is these two gallant sons of the soil who despite their sacrifice and fight for justice are being despised and called names for being arrested. Tomorrow, it will be someone else, next month it could be your uncle or father and who knows, next year, it could be you.”
“Finally, I want to encourage anyone out there who may be getting discouraged, that it’s usually darkest before dawn. We can fight this injustice as long as we stick together. There is nothing to fear.”