President Edgar Lungu has told the European Union Head of Delegation to Zambia Alessandro Mariani that Hakainde Hichilema’s arrest cannot be discussed as that would be endangering the independence of the judiciary.
President Lungu said this when he met Mariani at State House yesterday.
Special Assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda told journalists after the meeting that, Mariani and seven other EU delegates who accompanied him brought up HH’s arrest but President Lungu told them that the matter could not be discussed much as it is in court and assured the delegation that the due process of the law would take its course.
“Of course the question of Mr Hichilema’s arrest came up and the President said there was nothing he could do about it without endangering the independence of the judiciary,” Amos said.
Chanda also disclosed the EU delegation called for dialogue between the Patriotic Front and United Party for National Development (UPND) as the main political parties in Zambia.
“Mr Mariani said political players must try to bring all partners to a negotiating table on matters of national importance,” said Amos.
Chanda said President Lungu and the EU delegation discussed a wide range of issues of common interest to both parties.
He also disclosed that the EU delegates emphasised that as friends of Zambia, they had the duty to bring to the attention of the President matters they thought could damage the reputation of the country.
On the EU’s point that Zambia’s good governance reputation was being tarnished, President Lungu said those responsible for tarnishing the country’s good image should stop doing so.
“President Lungu assured the delegation of his readiness to dialogue with any persons on issues of national interest.”
Chanda also said the EU delegates maintained that they recognised President Lungu as the legitimately elected Head of State and urged all political players in the country to respect State institutions.