Zambia’s main opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND), has sent out a stern warning to President Edgar Lungu, cautioning him from interfering with key presidential election petition witnesses.
According to The Post, Lungu visited UPND operative Obvious Mwaliteta on Monday in Lusaka Central Prison, where he is currently being held for intercepting ballot boxes linked to members of the ruling Patriotic Front.
However, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma lashed out at the development, claiming that Lungu was tampering with opposition witnesses and using a purported familiarisation tour of the prison to meet and influence key figures in the petition.
“This is a clear case of abusing power and tampering with witnesses. That is why the amended Constitution foresaw such acts and put in the Constitution that when you are petitioned, you should step aside so that you do not interfere with witnesses and allow the Speaker to act as President,” Kakoma was quoted as saying.
The UPND filed a petition against the ruling party shortly after the presidential elections took place on August 11, with opposition members claiming that several irregularities.
Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema recently increased pressure on Lungu, claiming that he was using state machinery to effect a coup d’état in the country.
Despite not having been sworn in as president, Lungu has refused to step down, with Hichilema claiming that Lungu is acting to maintain his power over the military and police.
According to the contested poll results, Lungu defeated Hichilema by just less than 200 000 votes.