UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has appealed to the PF government to stop harassing and arresting him and his followers for merely commenting on issues affecting the nation.
Mr Hichilema said his continued victimization was total abuse of the justice system as the state appeared not prepared to prosecute the people they were arresting for no reasons.
’’It is total harassment by the PF government. I don’t know why they are so scared of the UPND and its leadership. They arrested me and brought me to court but to date I have not taken plea in this matter.,” he said.
In an interview after his case again failed to take off in the Lusaka magistrates’ court yesterday, Mr. Hichilema wondered why the PF government had continued harassing him for merely commenting on issues of governance in the nation.
Mr. Hichilema was arrested on January 17 and charged with insulting and defaming the President according to the laws of Zambia.
Awarn and caution statement taken on the same day at 10:40 hours at the police Headquarters Lusaka reads: ` You are being warned that police are making inquiries into a case of defaming the President contrary to section 69 cap 87 of the laws Zambia. It is alleged that you Male Hakainde Hichilema being the President of the UPND, with intent to bring the President into hatred, ridicule or contempt, you did say defamatory remarks against the President Mr. Michael Sata, that he is corrupt, and that he has ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission officers to stop investigations against Wynter Kabimba.”
But when he appeared in the Lusaka Court before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda, the matter was allocated to another magistrate and could not take plea because the defence lawyers argued that the indictment was different from the one they recorded at the police.
According to the other indictment before court Mr. Hichilema is accused of defaming the President contrary to section 69 of the penal code, chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
In that indictment, particulars of the offence allege that Mr. Hichilema on January 13 with intent to bring the President into hatred, ridicule or contempt did publish a defamatory statement which he said inter alia that President Sata ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to stop investigations against Wynter Kabimba.
The matter has been adjourned to 28 January, 2013 for mention and plea.
Mr. Hichilema was escorted by UPND cadres to show solidarity.