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Zambia opposition leader denies criminal trespass charges

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- An opposition leader in Zambia on Monday pleaded not guilty to a charge of criminal trespass.

Nevers Mumba, who leads a faction of the opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy, was arrested on Saturday afternoon for unlawfully entering the newsroom of the state broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation last Thursday and spent the weekend in police custody.

According to the police, the opposition leader, who was the country’s vice-president in late President Levy Mwanawasa’s government, is alleged to have stormed the public broadcaster’s newsroom and threatened staff on Thursday evening over a story the broadcaster run.

Mumba pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared in a magistrate court in Lusaka, the country’s capital on Monday.

The court has since granted him bail after state prosecutors objected to the application by lawyers that he should be granted bail, saying he was a threat to national security following his comments last week that the inauguration of President Edgar Lungu will not take place.



Zambian opposition leader refuses to recognize president’s re-election

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia’s main opposition leader said Friday his party does not recognize the re-election of Zambian President Edgar Lungu in last month’s general elections.

Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), insisted that he was the winner of the polls and that the party’s calculation showed 300,000 votes had been stolen from him.

The opposition leader said at a press briefing that the party had decided to petition the results in court instead of to protest in the streets, but was saddened by the court’s decision to throw away the petition without even hearing it.

He then asked the people of Zambia to take over the fight.

“We have received no justice. Our election was stolen,” he added.

He also called for the intervention of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The ruling Patriotic Front (PF), however, has said the opposition leader’s refusal to accept the election result was not a surprise as he had indicated before the polls that he would not accept defeat.

The country’s electoral body declared Lungu winner of the polls with 1,860,877 votes while Hichilema got 1,760,347 votes.


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