Although Mr Hakainde Hichilema’s neo-liberal ideas will not lead to much needed transformation of social circumstances and economic emancipation in Zambia, there is no need to arrest him,” says Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters Party of South Africa.

In a statements issued yesterday and signed by party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, the EFF noted that President Lungu was democratically elected into office following an effective campaign, but warned that the Head of State risked losing moral gravity and political sensibility if he does not intervene and release Hichilema.

“The Economic Freedom Fighters notes with grave concern the arrest of Zambian opposition leader of United Party for National Development, Mr Hakainde Hichilema. The EFF further notes the unwarranted house raids and harassment of Mr Hichilema’s family. The EFF condemns the arrest of Mr Hichilema in strongest possible terms, particularly when such is political arrest and intolerance,” the statement read in part.

The people of Zambia, through peaceful elections chose President Edgar Lungu, whom through political tolerance and harmonious contestation of ideas was able to lead an effective campaign. Despite Mr. Hichilema’s neo-liberal ideas that will not lead to much needed transformation of social circumstances and economic emancipation in Zambia, there is no need to arrest him. There is no reason enough that should lead to political intolerance, violence and arrest of those that we disagree with, despite opposing political views. The EFF will never tolerate political arrest and intolerance anywhere in the world, regardless of opposing views, particularly opposing views of political orientation.”

The EFF, a radical socialist movement and break away party from the African National Congress, notted that intolerance often reflected political parties that are terrified of political contestation.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi

“We believe President Lungu had made progressive and admirable decisions to work with members of opposition parties when elected in office to transform social circumstances and economic emancipation of the people of Zambia, which makes the arrest of opposition leaders unreasonable, reckless and regrettable,” read the EFF statement.

“The EFF calls for immediate release of Mr Hichilema. If President Lungu wishes to retain any moral gravity and political sensibility to emancipate people of Zambia, he must do the right thing, intervene and ensure that Mr Hichilema is released and all charges are dropped with immediate effect. The EFF will write an official letter to the president of Zambia to request that he avoids political arrests and all forms of intolerance. The continent needs to move towards acceptance of political differences.”