Zambia 'deports' SA opposition leader

LUSAKA - South Africa's opposition leader has been expelled from Zambia, blocking him from attending the treason case of his detained counterpart, his party says.

Police boarded Mmusi Maimane's flight, and "forcefully prevented" him from entering Zambia, his party said.

Mr Maimane had planned to show solidarity with Zambia's main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema when he appears in court on Friday.

A court is due to rule whether he should be tried for treason.

Zambia's government has not yet commented on the statement by South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) that its leader had been expelled.

Its behaviour was "shameful" and South Africa's government should lodge a diplomatic protest with it, the party said in a statement.

Mr Maimane had been "aggressively confronted" by police when his plane landed in Zambia, and they took his mobile phone from him, the DA added.

Mr Hichilema was arrested in a raid by armed policemen on his home in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, in April.

He was charged with treason after his convoy allegedly refused to make way for President Edgar Lungu's convoy, while both were travelling to a ceremony in western Zambia.

Mr Maimane condemned the "trumped up" charges against Mr Hichilema and believed he was being unfairly prosecuted, the DA added.

Mr Hichilema has asked the court to throw out the charges, but the prosecution wants him to stand trial in the High Court.

Treason is a non-bailable offence in Zambia, with a minimum jail term of 15 years and a maximum sentence of death.

Last year, Mr Lungu narrowly beat Mr Hichilema in presidential elections.

Mr Hichilema's United Party for National Development (UNPD) says it does not recognise Mr Lungu as president. It alleges the poll was rigged.

Comments (1)

Remember that Lungu is a student of Robert Mugabe, see whats happening in Zambia, the Zimbabwean style.

budha - 29 May 2017

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