The U.S. Embassy has said that it remains concerned over heightened political tension in Zambia, specifically noting the April 10 police raid of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema’s Lusaka residence and his subsequent arrest for treason.
In a statemenet released to the media, the embassy said that recent events underscore the need for peaceful dialogue between the opposition and ruling party on matters of national concern.
“The U.S. government urges all actors to exercise restraint in addressing differences, to respect the rule of law and electoral proceedings, and to follow the due process Zambians expect from a country with a reputation for political pluralism and peaceful conflict resolution, ” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu has said that he will not interfere in the operations of the police.
The President said that the Police and courts of law know their job and should therefore be given space.
In an apparent reference to the incarceration of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who has been charged with treason, President Lungu said that some people are calling on him to intervene in the operations of the police, but that he will not do.
The President explained that there are defined roles in the Republican Constitution for the Executive, the Judiciary and the National Assembly, and therefore he does not have powers to control all the three arms of government.
President Lungu was speaking to journalists at City Airport shortly before leaving for Northern Province a for a three day working visit.