Zambia Arrests Opposition Leader Two Months After Election

Hakainde Hichilema, the Zambian opposition leader whose party lost the August general election to Edgar Lungu, has been arrested along with his vice president for unlawful assembly and seditious practices, according to the police.

Hichilema’s detention was related to his protests over the elections result, the United Party for National Development leader said in a statement posted on his Facebook account on Wednesday. Hichilema challenged the poll outcome in the country’s Constitutional Court, which dismissed the case without hearing it. The electoral commission and ruling Patriotic Front have denied the UPND’s claims they colluded to rig the vote in Africa’s second-largest copper producer.

“We knew it would come to this as a way to silence our voices and weaken our demands for justice to prevail over the stolen elections,” Hichilema, whose party is the largest rival to Lungu’s Patriotic Front, said Wednesday.

Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, his deputy, committed the offences on Sept. 26, Charity Katanga, a police spokeswoman, said in comments broadcast over Lusaka-based Hot FM.

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