ZAMBIANS based in South Africa were yesterday supported by some South Africans as they protested outside Durban’s Hilton Hotel against President Edgar Lungu and his government’s continued incarceration of Hakainde Hichilema over treason allegations.
As President Lungu, African leaders and others were attending the World Economic Forum, dozens of protesters demanded that the Head of State immediately and unconditionally releases Hichilema who remains incarcerated over a treason charge which has since been committed to the High Court.
The Zambians and South Africans carrying banners denouncing President Lungu’s rule assembled under the banner of the People’s Economic Forum.
“Some Zambians based in South Africa this morning besieged Hilton Hotel in Durban protesting the continued detention and what they believe is the persecution of Hichilema,” the sources said.
It was very peaceful march and even though President Lungu did not come out during the protest, we saw some of the Presidential detail, especially the security detail and no doubt the message was loud and clear.
The sources said during the protest which lasted for close to 45 minutes, President Lungu was holding bilateral talks.
It had to take the intervention of South African state police and part of President Lungu’s security contingent to plead with the protesters to disperse.
The message we want to send to [President] Lungu is that Zambia is a democratic state which abhors injustice; we know that President Lungu is emulating other dictators like President Yoweri Museveni [of Uganda] and [President] Robert Mugabe [of Zimbabwe but Zambia is different; Zambia is a progressive democracy where you can’t just wake up and throw someone in the dungeon,
said South African protestor Mduli Ncube.