Hichilema was arrested after a midnight raid at his residence on Monday. He has since been charged with treason and four other crimes in the wake of a road incident in which his convoy allegedly blocked a presidential motorcade during the Kuomboka traditional ceremony in Mongu last week.
International partners have condemned the arrest. The US Embassy in Lusaka has also called for dialogue between the government and the UPND following the April 8 clash between the two parties.
The Embassy says it remains concerned about the heightened tensions between the two parties after the April 10 raid of the opposition leader’s residence.
BELOW IS THE US STATEMENT
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Affairs Officer
April 13, 2017
United States Remains Concerned Over Heightened Political Tension
The U.S. Embassy 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.
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.