STATEMENT OF THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK
STEVENS MOKGALAPA MP, ALN PRESIDENT
Note to editors:
The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries. The following statement and remarks are provided by the newly-elected ALN President, Stevens Mokgalapa MP, the South African Shadow Minister for International Relations and Co-operation (Democratic Alliance).
A magistrate’s court in Zambia has today ruled that the opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema (HH), must be tried for treason in Lusaka’s High Court. The date for this trial is unspecified and Hichilema remains in prison.
The decision to charge and try HH for treason is utterly problematic and deplorable; it is a clear indication of the level of corruption and political tyranny pursued by Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu. The Africa Liberal Network – as the continent’s largest political affiliation – denounces the trumped up charged against Hichilema and continues to call for his immediate, unconditional release.
Looking at politics in Zambia, democracy is failing. President Lungu has taken what was once a beacon of hope for the region and taken the country backwards, not only politically but also economically and in terms of human rights. The ALN denounces the actions of the Lungu administration in the strongest possible terms and we call for proper, necessary intervention by regional bodies including SADC and the AU.
It is worth remembering that treason remains an unbailable offence in Zambia, and if found guilty, one may face the death penalty. Hichilema’s treason case is based on the politically-motivated charge that he supposedly did not give way to the President’s motorcade.
Finally, the ALN encourages member parties to continue to uphold liberal democratic values and their commitment to sister-parties, especially our Zambian member the United Party for National Development (UPND). The Democratic Alliance, ALN full-member in South Africa, has taken a great lead in showing such solidarity with the party leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, pledging to return to Zambia support HH during his trial.
Our hope and commitment to the future is one of freedom under the rule of law for all Africans. We must work tirelessly everywhere, even in Zambia at this time, to achieve our mandate.
Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator)
+27 (0)81 4813754