Police arrest protesters after Zambia election

The Zambian police have arrested 133 people protesting against the re-election of President Edgar Lungu after his main opponent Hakainde Hichilema said the vote was rigged.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia says the leader of the Patriotic Front (PF), Edgar Lungu won 50.35% of the vote, against 47.67% for Hichilema, of the United Party for National Development (UPND).

The opposition party quickly rejected that result, saying that the electoral commission had colluded to rig the result in favour of Lungu.

“They targeted perceived supporters of the ruling party and destroyed their property.  It is like this was well planned and they were just waiting for the winner to be declared. Calm has now returned following the arrests,’’ a Southern province police chief, Godwin Phiri.

Lungu has been in office for only 19 months after taking power last year when he beat Hichilema by fewer than 28,000 votes in a snap election after the death in office of President Michael Sata.

His re-election secures him another five-year term.