Wed, 29 Aug 2012 11:28:26 +0000
GOVERNMENT is determined to slap treason charges against UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in a bid to take him out of the political circulation in the country, according to Douglas Syakalima.
Mr. Syakalima said attempts to slap Mr. Hichilema with treason offences proved futile after a heavy police search failed to fish out seditious materials allegedly kept at the party’s secretariat in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr. Syakalima who is UPND senior political advisor likened the attempt to slap treason charges on Mr. Hichilema to the zero option and black mamba era in the past.
This was after heavy police officers failed to find any materials implicating the opposition leader despite combing, sweeping and physically searching his entire office including the toilets at the premises in Rhodes Park.
And UPND Senior Political Advisor to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, Douglas Syakalima has said that the party will not be intimidated by empty threats coming from the PF government.
Over 100 heavily armed police officers from force headquarters stormed and took siege of the UPND secretariat around 04:00 hours in an effort to retrieve alleged seditious materials and equipment kept at the office but found nothing.
The officers who were led by Inspector Emmanuel Nkonde were refused entry into the UPND offices by cadres who kept vigil at the premises since the first attempt to search for materials on Monday failed.
Police were only allowed access into the premises upon the arrival of lawyers Martha Mushipe, Chad Muleza, Keith Mwemba and Mwanamuchende Dindi who arrived after 08:30.
The cadres demanded to search police officers before they entered the premises to conduct their business.
Police officers were made to remove their shoes and had all their pockets searched.
The cadres also demanded that only four officers should be allowed entry into the office while other armed police men remained outside the premises.
Three plain clothes police officers were forced out of the premises by a horde of cadres after masquerading as journalists when they were not.
After a three hour unsuccessful search inside the premises, the officers then went to the car park where broken down vehicles were parked for another search and that angered cadres.
The officers also searched the sewer systems on the premises in an attempt to find anything implicating the party leadership.
The officers later signed an affidavit in support of an application for the search warrant signed by Lusaka magistrate Walusiku that, “I have today the 28th August 2012 executed a warrant of search to the named UPND secretariat and did not find anything in connection to any seditious material or publication nor did I seize anything,” the affidavit by Inspector Nkonde read in part.
And Mr Syakalima said that there were many problems the nation was facing and it was therefore prudent for President Sata to divert his energies to address the challenges the nation was facing instead of harassing innocent Zambians.
He reminded President Sata that he had a huge task ahead of him which needed urgent reflection.
Mr. Syakalima said the PF government had promised many things during the campaigns which could not be fulfilled now and had instead vent their anger on Zambians.
And police sources said that an attempt was being made to have the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema charged with treason.
The source revealed that police officers were instructed to search Mr. Hichilema’s residence and that of party deputy president Richard Kapita, William Banda and Edward Mumbi among other senior party leaders.
“As you may be aware Mr Hichilema is due to appear in court and there are issues to do with his claims about the military training in Sudan and now we have information that the Corruption Dossier was compiled but really we are just following instructions. We are just commanded on what to do and our seniors know exactly what they are looking for which does not exist.”
But lead lawyer for Mr Hichilema, Sakwiba Sikota said that police officers had embarked on a mission that was impossible.
Mr Sikota charged that the PF government was panicking for unknown reasons, adding that the seditious material in question was nothing but a ploy to divert people’s attention from real issues.
He described the move as sad and that Zambians were now being led by people with unclear mission on governance.