Police have released PeP president Sean Tembo on police bond and he is expected to appear in court on April 15 on a charge of defamation of the President.
And Tembo has described his arrest as an abuse on human rights.
Tembo was arrested on Saturday for alleging that President Lungu is mentally sick in his posts on social media.
Speaking at Lusaka Central Police after he was released on police bond, Tuesday, Tembo said he looked forward to his court appearance on April 15 because he strongly believed that his response to President Lungu’s national address at Parliament did not constitute defamation of character.
“I have been released on police bond and I’m scheduled to appear in court on April 15. And I look forward to that court appearance because I strongly believe that my response to the State on the National address by the President at Parliament did not constitute defamation of character whatsoever. So I look forward to that court appearance and the case which the State is going to try and build against myself,” Tembo said.
Asked whether he could describe his arrest as an abuse to human rights, Tembo responded in the affirmative.
“Definitely, definitely without question,” he said.
Tembo said he was initially on hunger strike because he was not charged or taken to court.
“The primary reason that I decided to go on hunger strike is because I was not charged and I was not being taken to court. If you are just being held in detention without any of the things you are entitled to even as a suspect, then you cannot be eating because by you eating you are celebrating. So you cannot be celebrating unlawful detention,” said Tembo.
Meanwhile, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, who went to offer solidarity, said he was happy that Tembo come out, with a lot of strength.
“There was no need to keep him in detention for this long. Because this habit of detaining people before any investigation is done, is unacceptable,” he said.
And Hichilema said the law of defamation of the President did not make sense because the President enjoyed immunity.
He added that if the Presidency wanted that law to remain in effect, then the President’s immunity should be removed so that he could also be prosecuted.
“This law has no place in our country. As you know, a President enjoys immunity, meaning that he cannot be prosecuted. If a person cannot be prosecuted, why should he prosecute others? It doesn’t make sense. If the presidency wants this law to remain, they must have their immunity removed as well because that way you can have a fair justice. Justice must be fair to both sides,” said Hichilema.
And NAREP leader Elias Chipimo also spoke on the need to abolish the law.