Zambian Embassy Attempts to Stifle UK Press Over UPND Shooting
Over the weekend international press reported on the violence witnessed in Sesheke on Friday 8th February. The UK paper The Times and Bloomberg News both released articles on the apparent assassination attempt of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and fellow UPND supporters.
The Zambian Embassy in the UK have lashed out at The Times claiming that the article was ‘malicious and did not portray a true reflection of the situation in Zambia.’
In a letter addressed to The Times, First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian High Commission noted that:
“We feel disappointed that the newspaper sensationalised accusations made by the opposition leader and his political party. Such sensational headings are not just misleading but are in bad taste given the fact that the journalist did not verify her story,”
This letter comes from the High Commission despite there being numerous videos of the incident clearly showing the use of live ammunition on civilians by individuals in Zambian police uniforms.
Hichilema, 56, warned that the international community’s failure to act on state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe is encouraging other African regimes to crack down on opponents.
“We were having a peaceful meeting when about 100 heavily armed men from the ruling party arrived, escorted by police, and started firing live ammunition on us,” he told The Sunday Times yesterday.