No charge, caution for HH

UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday presented himself at Kabwata Police station. 

Mr Hichilema arrived at Kabwata Police station just after 10:00 hours amid tight security and was immediately ushered into the interrogating room, where held a meeting with Lusaka Province Commissioner of police Charity Katanga.

Hundreds of cadres chanting UPND slogans besieged Kabwata police which was equally heavily cordoned by the police.

After more than two hours Mr. Hichilema emerged from the meeting and drove away.

Addressing the press later Ms Katanga said while Mr Hichilema could have breached the Public Order Act, the police chose dialogue and his lawyers had made an undertaking to give police prior notification of future political undertakings.

Ms Katanga however warned that if Mr Hichilema was not going to abide by the undertaking between the police and the UPND, the police would have no option but to effect an arrest because the police had taken all the statements about the event.

She said Mr Hichilema had been advised to draw up a comprehensive and consolidated programme of his political events and submit to the police so that they could be in a position to police his activities without confrontation.

“Mr Hichilema breached the Public Order Act but we have not charged him or cautioned him because it is not always that citizens are arrested for breaching the law. There are many citizens who breach the law but we do not arrest them.

Mr Hichilema and his lawyers have made an undertaking and it is our expectation that they will abide by it. We are expecting their undertaking today (yesterday) at 14:00 hours. If they will breach their own undertaking, the police will have no option but to do as well…,”Ms Katanga said.

And Mr Hichilema’s lawyer Jack Mwiimbu told journalists that the UPND leader had cordial discussions with the police on a range of issues and that he (Hichilema) had not been cautioned or charged.

Mr Mwiimbu said Mr Hichilema would continue with his political activities in townships and public places and that the opposition political party would have to involve the police in all its activities.

He said the UPND had undertaken to draw up a programme of its political activities in public places and that Mr Hichilema would be working with the police to ensure that the Public Order Act operated according to the dictates of the law.

He explained that Mr Hichilema had not been conducting political meetings during his tour of markets and residential areas and could not therefore have breached the law for the police to effect an arrest.

“We had cordial discussions with the police to discuss the callout which was sent to Mr Hichilema. He is going to continue with his political tours of the markets and residences but from now on, we shall be working with the police to make sure the Public Order Act operates according to the law,” Mr Mwiimbu said.


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