The opposition UPND has demanded the immediate release of its incarcerated leader Hakainde Hichilema who has been charged with treason, a non bailable offence which carries a death sentence.
UPND vice president for administration Geoffrey Mwamba has warned government that it will bear the consequences of what will happen in Zambia if anything happens to Mr. Hichilema.
Mr. Mwamba said that Mr. Hichilema should be released because he’s unwell and requires medical attention as a result of the teargas Police fired into his house.
Speaking at news conference today, Mr. Mwamba disclosed that Mr. Hichilema’s skin has changed while his face is swollen.
Mr. Mwamba said that the party suspects that Police released toxic chemicals during the raid on the UPND leader’s house.
Mr. Mwamba said that demand to have Mr. Hichilema released is also based on the fact that the charges leveled against him are allegedly trumped up and politically motivated.
Mr. Mwamba states that it is not true that Mr. Hichilema disobeyed police orders when his motorcade failed to give way to the presidential motorcade in Mongu.
Mr. Mwamba wondered how Mr. Hichilema’s convoy could have blocked or obstructed the presidential motorcade on a road which the Police must have cleared of all traffic.
Mr. Mwamba said that Mr. Hichilema’s motorcade was in fact cleared at one police checkpoint to proceed on the Limulunga road way before the presidential motorcade overtook it.
Mr. Mwamba added that no police officer was positioned along the road as is usually the case when the Presidential motorcade is about to pass.
Meanwhile UPND lawyers where today denied access to Mr. Hichilema who remains in Police custody at Lilayi Police training college.
UPND Spokesperson Charles Kakoma has told journalists that the lawyers were told that they could not see Mr. Hichilema without a permit from the Police Headquarters.
Mr. Kakoma said that the party finds this to be a violation of the rights of detainees contrary to the laws of Zambia.