One person was shot dead and four others injured on Friday at a rally calling for the autonomy of western Zambia after police clashed with protesters, hospital sources said.
The government was expected to hold a news conference to discuss the incident.
Several people were arrested after police tried to stop a rally in Mongu, about 580 km (360 miles) west of the Zambian capital, witnesses said.
“One person died from bullet wounds and we are treating four others who were shot during the protest,” said a hospital source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Zambia on Friday granted the first licence to a local company to explore for oil and gas in western Zambia following the approval of new licensing fees.
Britain’s GP Petroleum and Petrodel Resources, Glint Energy of the United States and Exile Resources (ERI.V) of Canada were chosen along with Zambian firms Majetu, Barotse Petroleum Company and Chat Milling Ltd to explore for oil and gas.