Zambia: Hichilema Calls for Black Friday in Response to Police Killings

Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has called on his supporters to wear all black today in the aftermath of a clash when his sympathisers engaged with state police after a political rally organised by UPND was cancelled.

A UPND supporter Mapenzi Chibulo died as a result of gunshot wounds. Police maintain that only one person died, but UPND and Hichilema claim three people died following the clashes.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia moved to cancel campaigns in Lusaka and Nawmwala as the result of the rising political tension.

BELOW IS THE FULL STATEMENT

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

HH on Black Friday

Today we asked people to wear black to stand in solidarity with those who have lost their lives while campaigning peacefully during this election period.

This initiative is not about what party you support, what policies you prefer or what politicians you most admire, but it is about coming together in recognition of the terrible price some of our citizens have paid for exercising freedoms that should be their right in any functioning democracy, or in any state with proper protection of human rights.

It is about sending a peaceful and non-partisan message to those in power that justice must be served for these victims and that we as a nation reject the idea that membership of an opposition party is a crime. We say that only through delivery of justice can we guard against a repeat of what happened on Friday 8th July. The failure to punish perpetrators of past attacks, even when they have taken place in broad daylight has delivered us to this dangerous place where criminals do not fear punishment if they feel they have political protection.

Hakainde Hichilema

Source: Zambia Reports