Zambian President agrees to talk with opposition leader

Zambia’s President, Edgar Lungu and detained opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development have agreed to participate in talks to address the country’s political tensions.

This follows talks that Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland held with both men on her visit to Zambia.

Mr Hichilema is currently in prison waiting trial on treason charges following an incident in which the convoy he was travelling in allegedly blocked the presidential motorcade.

During her visit Baroness Scotland also met church leaders and the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The Commonwealth statement says President Lungu and Mr Hichilema agreed to “a process of dialogue” to prepare for reforms ahead of the 2021 elections.

The two leaders have been at loggerheads since last year when Mr Lungu won a closely contested presidential election last year.

Mr Hichelema challenged the result in the High Court.