Crackdown, nepotism poison Zambia political landscape


President Haikande Hichilema is increasingly killing democracy in Zambia for self egos

from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
Zambia Bureau
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA is teetering on the brink of crisis as the new government intensifies a crackdown on the former First Family.

The administration of current president, Haikande Hichilema, is under criticism after his government summoned family members of his predecessor, Edgar Lungu, to appear before Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers for investigations.

It is feared they will be detained after the investigations on Thursday.

Among those summoned is the former president’s wife, Esther Lungu, who has been in and out of courts for alleged corruption.

The ex-president’s daughters, Chiyeso and Tasila, have also been summoned to appear before the DEC on Thursday on corruption charges.

Charles Phiri, their cousin, is also summoned.

Former head of state Lungu has lashed out at the government of Hichilema, led by the United Party for National Development (UPND).

“In other words, their plan is to keep me and my entire family the whole day at DEC with the same scheme of breaking and silencing me,” he said.

Zambia’s two most powerful men, Hichilema and Lungu have not seen eye to eye for years since then president Lungu jailed then opposition leader Hichilema for defiance.

Hichilema, said to be Zambia’s wealthiest businessman, accused Lungu of dictatorship.

At the elections in 2021, Hichilema won, and is accused of a campaign against Lungu and his family.

Things have gotten so tense Lungu has been banned from his morning jogs, which are a favourite among supporters of his party.

Recently, Lungu, came out of retirement, foregoing benefits entitled to former heads of state. He is Zambia’s sixth head of state.

Last week, a former defence minister claimed being living under house arrest.

Tensions are rising ahead of the 2026 elections in this usually stable Southern African nation.

The opposition has raised concern at the abduction and disappearances of opposition leaders in recent days.

Thugs suspected to be of the ruling UPND kidnapped and left opposition legislator Jay Banda for dead. His condition remains critical in hospital.

The opposition United Kwacha Alliance reports one of its principals, Edith Nawakwi, has been arrested and denied access to her life saving medicines by the police.

She is a former finance minister and the latest erstwhile office holder to be probed.

This week, Hichilema appointed his younger brother, Muzoka, as Zambia’s Deputy Ambassador to Malaysia.

Critics say the new envoy is a Sales and Marketing professional with no background in diplomacy.

– CAJ News

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