President Michael Sata has now ordered the arrest of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and charge him over the liquidation and privatisation of former Zambia Tobbaco Industries.
Sources have told the Watchdog that police are likely to summon and arrest Mr. Hichilema next week and slap him with the charge for the job done some 15 years ago around 1996, during late president Frederick Chiluba’s regime of which current president Sata was a key member of that regime.
Sources said Sata’s friends Post newspaper owner Fred Mmembe and DPP Mutembo Nchito have already framed charges.
During swearing-in ceremony this week, president Sata ordered DPP Nchito to investigate how Mr. Hichilema acquired his wealth during the privatisation process.
But Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) yesterday told DPP to ignore the order as it was unconstitutional for the president or indeed any office in the and to direct the DPP on what to do.
The on-going arrests of opposition figures and lifting of former president Rupiah Banda’s immunity is part of the scheme to paralyse the opponents as the cartel holding Mr. Sata hostage is sensing a possible presidential by-election as he (Sata) intends to give up poor due to poor health.
So far Mr. Sata has failed to officiate at two important national events for women last week and youth day this week.
President Sata mainly confined himself to State House functions, the latest being yesterday when he blasted the British High Commissioner for going into provinces to talk about good governance.
There are fears in the cartel camp that should Mr. Sata give up soon, the only likely strong opposition candidates are former president Mr. Banda or Mr. Hichilema and hence the smear campaign against them.