Zambia opposition urges restraint among supporters over deputy arrest

Zambia's main opposition party, United Party for National Development (UPND), on Thursday urged restraint among its supporters following the arrest of its vice president on allegations of militia training.

Zambia map

Police on Wednesday arrested Geoffrey Mwamba for allegedly drilling youth to become a violent group ahead of general elections this year.

Zambia mapThere were clashes between police and some of the opposition party’s supporters who were accompanying Mwamba on his way to the police station for questioning, but no arrests were made for the clashes.

Earlier, 19 young members of the opposition were arrested at Mwamba’s offices where they were said to be receiving training.

Mwamba has been released on bail after appearing in court late Wednesday and is expected to appear in court again on March 10. He could face seven years in jail if convicted.

UPND President Hakainde Hichilema issued a statement, calling for restraint but denounced the arrest as a suppression of human rights and a provocation from the police because “the party is peaceful”.

He denied his party was training a militia.

Some opponents of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) have criticized the arrest as trying to silence opposition leaders ahead of general election, which is expected to be held on August 11. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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