Police in Lusaka have arrested Socialist Party National Youth Chairperson, Elias Gabriel Banda, and charged him with an offence of proposing violence.
Police Spokesperson, Rae Hamoonga, said Banda, aged 33, of Kalingalinga compound was arrested and charged for the two offences of proposing violence Contrary to Section 91 and Criminal Trespass
Hamoonga in a statement issued in Lusaka said the offence was also Contrary to Section 306(a)(b) of the Penal Code Act Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
“Banda initiated the rioting and looting of some shops which occurred at the University of Zambia between September 18, 2023 around 19:00 hours and September 19, 2023 around 00:10 hours,” he said.
Hamoonga said the suspect had been detained in custody and would appear in court soon.
Meanwhile, UNZA students are demanding the unconditional release of Banda and arrest of those who are against holding democratic elections to elect their Union representatives.
Zambia National Student’s Union (ZANASU) Secretary, General Mambwe Bwalya, said the charges which have been slammed on Banda, of alleged criminal trespass, are trumped up charges, a gross miscarriage of justice and an affront to the principles of democracy.
“Since when did a public University property become a private property? This implies that every former student who wishes to step foot into UNZA will be charged for criminal trespass. What kind of laws are we using in this country. What a shame!” he said.
Bwalya said the arrest of former student leaders was not only a violation of their rights but also a chilling form of intimidation that sends a message of fear and repression to young people who aspire to participate in leadership roles.
“President Hakainde Hichilema was on record to have assured the Zambians youths of space in leadership and opportunities to develop themselves and clearly the 2021 general elections was overwhelmingly decided by young people,” he said.
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