Zam­bia ‘slip­ping to­wards dic­ta­tor­ship’

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

ZAM­BIA’S Con­fer­ence of Catholic Bish­ops has warned the coun­try “is slip­ping to­wards dic­ta­tor­ship” as 48 Zam­bian MPs were sus­pended for 30 days af­ter they boy­cotted Zam­bian Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu’s state of the na­tion ad­dress in March.

The MPs launched the boy­cott ar­gu­ing that Lungu was not the le­git­i­mate win­ner of last year’s poll. The sus­pended MPs rep­re­sent nearly the whole par­lia­men­tary op­po­si­tion party of 58.

Par­lia­men­tary Speaker Pa­trick Mat­i­b­ini la­belled the MPs’ boy­cott “gross mis­con­duct”. He said the sus­pen­sion took ef­fect im­me­di­ately and chal­lenged sus­pended MPs to re­sign. The sus­pen­sion fol­lowed Hakainde Hichilema, leader of op­po­si­tion party the United Party for Na­tional De­vel­op­ment, be­ing im­pris­oned on trea­son charges.

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