The Zambian government will complain to the Nigerian authorities following a statement from that country’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the political situation in the country.
Last week, the former Nigerian leader appealed to the Zambian government to adhere to the rule of law and human rights principles in dealing with opposition political parties following the arrest of the country’s leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema who has been charged with treason.
In a statement released by his media aide, Obasanjo said it was in the best interest of the country to maintain the rule of law and human rights principles which were a recipe for peace, stability and development not only in Zambia but the entire African continent.
But Amos Chanda, the presidential spokesperson told journalists Tuesday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been instructed to write a letter of complaint to the Nigerian government over the conduct of the former leader which is being seen as interference.
He said the former Nigerian leader should not be dictating what was happening in Zambia as the arrest of the opposition leader has nothing to do with political persecution but borders on criminal conduct.
The presidential spokesperson further urged diplomats accredited to Zambia to use the right channels to air their views on the current political situation in the country instead of rushing to the media.
He further urged the diplomats to allow the due process of the law to take its course in the treason case involving the opposition leader.
The United States and the European Union (EU) have issued statements expressed concern over the heightened political tension in the country.
There have been reports that the arrest of Hichilema was politically motivated following his decision not to recognize President Edgar Lungu’s victory in last year’s presidential election.
Hichilema, who narrowly lost to Lungu, has refused to recognize as winner, saying the vote was stolen.
But the presidential spokesperson said Lungu has no hand in directing the police to arrest the opposition leader, saying the police were working independently.
Lungu will also not interfere in the court process, he added.
Hichilema was arrested last week after police raided his house in Lusaka, the country’s capital.
He appeared in court on Tuesday morning where for mention and explanation of the treason charge he has been slapped together with five others. Enditem