The United States government says it is concerned with the heightened political tension in Zambia, two days after the arrest of opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.

In a brief but concise statement released by the Public Affairs Office at the United States Embassy in Lusaka today, the American government urged political actors in Zambia to exercise restraint in addressing differences.

“The United States government remains concerned over heightened political tension in Zambia, specifically noting the April 10 police raid of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema’s Lusaka residence and his subsequent arrest for treason,” read the statement in part.

“Recent events underscore the need for peaceful dialogue between the opposition and ruling party on matters of national concern.”

The American government further observed the need for respect of the rule of law in the country before it lost the reputation of political pluralism.

“The U.S. government urges all actors to exercise restraint in addressing differences, to respect the rule of law and electoral proceedings, and to follow the due process Zambians expect from a country with a reputation for political pluralism and peaceful conflict resolution,” stated the US Embassy.