Power and Politics

Opposition group challenges President Hakainde to address calls for sanctions against his govt


The United Kwacha Alliance (UKA) has challenged President Hakainde Hichilema to respond to the letter submitted to the American Ambassador to Zambia, Michael Gonzales, by a group named Our Civic Duty Association (OCIDA).

OCIDA had petitioned the United States government to impose financial sanctions, visa restrictions and travel bans against Hichilema and several top Zambian officials who were allegedly undermining democratic rights in the country.

Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Thursday, UKA demanded that Hichilama must use his Friday National Assembly address to respond to the letter point by point.

Read More: Civil society group, led by Bishop Mpundu, wants US to impose sanctions on Hichilema, 7 other govt officials

“We call upon President Hakainde to ask his Presidential team to tear up the speech they have prepared for him to deliver to Parliament on the progress made (if any) in the application of National Values and Principles tomorrow,” UKA chairperson Sakwiba Sikota said.

Sikota urged Hichilema to come up with a new address to the National Assembly that would address the issues raised in OCIDA’s letter.

“If they find it difficult to respond to the issues raised in the OCIDA letter by tomorrow, President Hakainde should postpone his Parliamentary Presidential address to next week Friday,” he urged.

He further alleged that all state controlled media institutions had been instructed to treat the letter as if it did not exist.

“It is like a child covering his eyes with his hands thinking that this makes him invincible and you cannot see him,”Sikota said.

UKA reiterated their claim that the country’s democratic space was shrinking, adding that diplomats such as the British, Americans, Swedes and others had expressed concerns regarding the shrinking democratic space.

“Individuals like Dr. Sishuwa Sishuwa, Professor Muna Ndulo, State Counsel John Sangwa, State Counsel Linda Kasonde, activist Brebnar Changala and many others have pointed out areas and incidents when officials in this government have clearly strayed offside,” Sikota claimed.

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