Zambian court allows opposition leader to challenge treason case

Hakainde Hichilema, of the Zambia opposition United Party for National Development addresses a crowd during his campaign.

A Zambian court has allowed opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema to challenge the prosecution from moving his treason case to the high court for trial, in a case that has stoked political tension months after contested elections.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) leader was arrested in a police raid in his home in April and charged with trying to overthrow the government.

Judicial review
Hichilema’s lawyers, however, said the case should not proceed to the High Court.

But Magistrate David Simusamba told a packed hearing his judgement that Hichilema’s lawyers could seek a judicial review of the charges, before the case is handed over to the High Court for trial.

The opposition leader has been in jail for over a month now without the possibility of being released on bail.

He is accused of threatening the life of President Edgar Lungu as well as nursing plans to overthrow the government. He risks between 15 years in jail to a death penalty.

Reuters/Africanews/Sammie Idika