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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Zambia opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema denies treason charge

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia’s leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on Monday denied treason charge slapped on him when he appeared in court for the start of the trial.

Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the opposition United Party for National Development and five others were arrested in April this year and charged with treason. They have been in prison since then because treason is not bailable in Zambia.

Hichilema, 55, pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared in the High Court to take plea.

“I strongly deny the charge,” the opposition leader said when he was asked to take plea by High Court Judge Charles Chanda.

The judge has since adjourned the matter to August 16, 2017 for the commencement of trial.

According to the charge sheet, the opposition leader and his co-accused conspired to usurp state power by according him a status of the country’s president and that he allegedly blocked President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade on a road in western Zambia, a move that would have endangered the Zambian leader’s life.

There was tight security at the court with police in riot gear surrounding the court premises. The matter has received world attention and stoked political tension in the southern African nation.

His supporters sang solidarity songs outside the court premises.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Germany delegation visits Zambia to check on tourism sector

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- A 16-member delegation from Germany is expected in Zambia this week on a 13-day tour of the southern African nation to sample its tourism potential, the Zambia embassy in Germany said on Monday.

The delegation, comprising of various professional representatives, is interested in deepening their understanding of Zambia’s tourism industry with the view to market it to German tourists.

Kenneth Nyirenda, a Zambian consultant based in Germany and who has organized the tour, said the trip is the first of tourist activities that will be taking place twice every year in order to market Zambia’s tourism to European tourists.

He further said some of the members of the delegation represented organizations involved in charity work and will use the visit to identify projects they could support.

The embassy has since called on Zambians in Germany to use their knowledge and expertise to compliment government efforts in improving the flow of German tourists into the country. 

           

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