Politics

Zambian Police Target Opposition Leader Hichilema over Tribal Remarks

Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela has issued a statement suggesting opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is abusing his freedom of expression in what turns out to be a well orchestrated plan to gag dissenting views.

Kanjela, in reference to Hichilema’s media statement in which he was quoted as saying some tribes have sworn to eliminate Tonga politicians, said some members of the public were abusing their freedom of expression.

She states that such utterances have the potential to dividing the country based on tribe.

Hichilema and his party members have recently been victims of police brutality.
The leading opposition leader is currently facing charges of publishing force information likely to cause alarm while some of his members have suffered physical harm during demonstrations.

Four notifications to hold public meetings by the UPND have been turned down with police claiming security reasons.

UPND were to hold rallies in Kanyama, Chawama and Mongu but were blocked by the Zambia Police.

Now Kanjela is issuing new threats to Hichilema and his party members in clearly biased police operations.

“The police wishes to warn members of the public to refrain from such hate speeches. For instance the latest statements by the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader when he made a contribution on the Sky Fm radio’s ‘Sky Forum’ on 11th September, 2012 in which he said that ‘some tribes have sworn to eliminate Tonga politicians’ is not desirable,” she said.

“If anyone has information that some one is planning to commit an offence, the best would be to report to the police or any relevant law enforcement agency.”

Kanjela said the issue members of public have been making reference to about people making oaths to eliminate others is a matter the police is currently investigating.

“It is not the desire of the police to restrict members of the public from expressing their views but if that freedom boarders on committing offences, the police will be forced to enforce the law in order to avoid the greater evil of dividing the country on ethnic groupings and to maintain public order,” she stated.

A group calling itself Tongas Under Oath purporting to be representing Southern Province but allegedly established by senior PF members has recently been sending letters which police say border on sedition.

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