South Africa’s Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says President Edgar Lungu must publicly apologoise to UPND leader Hakinde Hichilema for locking him up on trumped up treason charges only for them to be dropped four months later.

In a statement sent to News Diggers! today, Maimane stated that Zambia still remained politically unstable and volatile under President Lungu.

“Furthermore, a public apology must be made to Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the Leader of the Opposition, who was arrested on trumped-up treason charges, detained for almost four months in the most inhumane conditions – only for the charges to be dropped as baseless. There is still much more to be done to restore true democracy to Zambia. Under President Lungu’s presidency, the country remains politically unstable and volatile,” Maimane stated.

He stated that part of his work as leader of the DA and Chairperson of Chairperson of the Southern African Platform for Democratic Change (SAPDC) was to work constructively with leaders from both governing and opposition parties of democratic states in the SADC region.

“This includes ensuring that democratic practices such as human rights, constitutionalism, and the rule of law are promoted across the continent. We will continue to work with the United Party for National Development (UPND), and its Leader, Mr Haikande Hichilema, in fighting for a stable and functional democracy in Zambia,” Maimane stated.

He stated that the DA welcomed government’s decision not to renew the Threatened State of Emergency.

“The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the decision by the Zambian government to not renew the emergency measures that have been enforced across the country over the past 90 days. This is the first step in the right direction, however, it must be followed by a clear and concrete plan of action that aims to restore democracy in Zambia. President Edgar Lungu should at once commit publically to a programme of action that works to restore Zambia’s democracy. This includes restoring the independence of the justice system; ensuring the media is free from suppression and intimidation; and ending the oppressive treatment of the opposition in Zambia,” stated Maimane.