EFF STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF ZAMBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ARREST ON TREASON CHARGES
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The Economic Freedom Fighters notes with grave concern the arrest of Zambian opposition leader of United Party for National Development, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema. The EFF further notes the unwarranted house raids and harassment of Mr. Hichilema’s family. The EFF condemns the arrest of Mr. Hichilema in strongest possible terms, particularly when such is political arrest and intolerance.
The people of Zambia, through peaceful elections chose President Edgar Lungu, whom through political tolerance and harmonious contestation of ideas was able to lead an effective campaign. Despite Mr. Hichilema’s neo-liberal ideas that will not lead to much needed transformation of social circumstances and economic emancipation in Zambia, there is no need to arrest him. There is no reason enough that should lead to political intolerance, violence and arrest of those that we disagree with, despite opposing political views. The EFF will never tolerate political arrest and intolerance anywhere in the world, regardless of opposing views, particularly opposing views of political orientation.
Political intolerance often reflects political parties that are terrified of political contestation. And we believe President Lungu had made progressive and admirable decisions to work with members of opposition party when elected in office to transform social circumstances and economic emancipation of people of Zambia, which makes the arrest of opposition leaders unreasonable, reckless and regrettable.
The EFF calls for immediate release of Mr. Hichilema. If President Lungu wishes to retain any moral gravity and political sensibility to emancipate people of Zambia, he must do the right thing, intervene and ensure that Mr. Hichilema is released and all charges are dropped with immediate effect.
The EFF will write an official letter to the president of Zambia to request that he avoids political arrests and all forms of intolerance. The continent needs to move towards acceptance of political differences.