Opposition leaders in Zambia have refuted claims by president Michael Sata that they were in South Africa to seek political asylum.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and his MMD counterpart Nevers Mumba, who have since returned to Zambian, said president Sata was again telling the Zambian people lies like he did with the 90 days promise to that saw him ascend to power.
MMD president Nevers Mumba maintained that they were in South Africa to submit a written document to the Commonwealth to intervene on issues surrounding the Zambia political happenings.
Speaking when he addressed journalists at his residence in Lusaka today, Dr. Mumba explained that he travelled to South Africa to ensure that the international community got the 40 paged written documents of alleged human rights impunities that are currently characterising the Zambian government.
And Hichilema told ZNBC news last evening that the opposition leaders went to demonstrate how the PF government is abusing human rights for its citizens especially with the restriction of the right to assembly.
The opposition leaders said that currently, the Commonwealth was studying the document and the Secretary General would soon send an envoy to Zambia to investigate the concerns contained in the document.
The MMD president alleged that President Michael Sata has been abusing human rights through the use of the police and other security wings such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
He said his actions were not meant to fight the President but that he was doing his role of applying checks and balances adding that he holds nothing personal against Mr. Sata.
Dr. Mumba said the opposition will not rest until freedom of association and assembly prevailed in the country asserting that Zambians were allegedly under oppression through what he termed as abuse of the public order act.
“We are not running away and if there is anything that President Sata wants to do to me and my colleagues in the opposition he will have to do it right here in Zambia,” Dr. Mumba stated.
He also dismissed assertions by Chief Government Spokesman Kennedy Sakeni that former President Rupiah Banda attended and organised the South Africa press conference. “I feel pity for my brother Sakeni because he is being forced to release statements that he has not written,” he said.
He further said the opposition political parties will also prepare another 60 paged dossier that will be submitted to the African Union (AU) with another 80 paged document to be given to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which will include names of government officials, civil society leaders and journalists whom he alleged were being used by government to harass the opposition.
The opposition leader also denied having been accompanied by former President Rupiah Banda saying Mr. Banda was in South Africa on personal business.
Earlier this week, President Michael Sata said opposition leaders who reportedly went to South Africa to present a petition to the Commonwealth on the alleged human rights abuses in Zambia were in that country to seek criminal asylum