ZAMBIA: Church Leaders Condemn Mistreatment of Opposition Leader

LUSAKA, JUNE 20, 2017(CISA) – Zambian Church leaders have condemned the government for mistreating the nation’s main opposition political leader, Hakainde Hichilema.

In a statement June 16, the church leaders cautioned Zambian President Edgar Lungu for confining the opposition leader in a maximum security prison, even before trial for an alleged treason charge, is determined.

“We in the Church leadership are not repentant; Zambia eminently qualifies to be branded a dictatorship. The fact of the matter is that only leadership that does not have the will of the people on its side or thinks it does not have the will of the people on its side uses state institutions to suppress that same will of the people as witnessed on the opposition leader,” the Church leaders said.

According to the Zambia Police, Hakainde Hichilema was charged with treason for allegedly obstructing President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade on a main road on April 8.

The Church leaders cautioned the Zambia Police Service for its lack of professionalism and for being brutal.

“The indictment of the Police Service as being unprofessional was not invented by the three Church Mother Bodies; it is found written in black and white in the judgment of Magistrate Greenwell Malumani which tells us that the conduct of the Police in this case was not in line with the law and Police Professional ethics,” read the statement, in part.

The three Church mother bodies comprise the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB); the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) which represents Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches as well as the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ).

CCZ is the umbrella body for Protestant Churches and Church-related organizations that traditionally are also members of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

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