Police this morning issued a warn and caution statement to UPND President Hakainde Hichilema. This followed the presidential directive to search opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema’s houses for classified documents yesterday that yielded nothing after police conducted an 11 hour search.
President Edgar Lungu had ordered police to immediately question opposition Hakainde Hichilema over his remarks that he controls the Zambian intelligence system.During a news conference last week, Mr Hichilema claimed that he controls the state intelligence system in the country and has access to intelligence files before President Lungu. President Lungu said the Police should investigate to ascertain whether Mr. Hichilema’s claims are true or are just aimed at bringing confusion in the country through mere policking. He has also directed Police to investigate and identify the officers leaking information to the UPND leader.
Mr Hichilema who arrived at Woodlands Police Station at around 10:30 was warned and cautioned under Cap 111 of Section 43 of the State Securities Act.His lawyer Jack Mwimbu later told Journalists that Mr. Hichilema was interrogated and denied the charges.Mr Mwimbu said further investigations will be conducted by the police.He explained that the charges relate to information perceived to have been received by Mr Hichilema from the state security agencies.Mr Mwimbu clarified that the offence is not a treasonable.
‘We are dismayed with the conduct of the police on this matter especially that they are working under instructions from President Lungu,’ Mr Mwimbu said.
He added, ‘President Lungu indicated that he is not going to interfere with the running of the police but we have noticed that he is issuing instructions to the police and the police are obeying his command.’Mr Mwimbu said the process is not transparent and not being conducted in a professional manner.
‘Just yesterday, the so called Information Minister was making statements that Mr.Hichilema has been making treasonable acts. We believe that the directives by this government to the police and using undue influence on the police are unacceptable,’ he said.Mr Mwimbu said the UPND hopes that the police will investigate the matter professionally and that it will not go further than this.
The UPND President Hakainde Hichilema earlier said he was ready to be detained over his claims that he receives intelligence information before President Edgar Lungu does.Mr Hichilema said if what he is purported to have said amounts to a crime he is ready to be detained because this will not be the first time that he will be detained but the tenth time under the PF government.
Mr. Hichilema told journalists that said Zambia is his only home and that no amount of arrests will make him run away from the country.He however, noted that what is currently happening to vocal opposition leaders like him under the PF government is a clear testimony that the country is being governed by a dictatorship.
The UPND leader said that anyone who has doubted this should now come to terms with this reality.Concerning whether his revelation compromised national security Mr. Hichilema said the truth will always come out.Hundreds of UPND supporters gathered at the Woodlands Police station as Mr.Hichilema went in for questioning.