Zambia Arrests Two Journalists Of Privately-Owned Newspaper For Defaming President

Two press people have been arrested in Zambia over a story that says President Edgar Lungu used public funds to pay for a holiday in 2015, though it cited opposition leader.

Zambia is scheduled to go on polls in August this year and ahead of it the articles published in privately-owned newspaper has fueled up political tension in the country.

Both the journalists were released later after paying a bond.

Leader of the Fourth Revolution Party, Erick Chanda, was charged on March 21 with defamation of Lungu. In a report published in the newspaper on May 9, 2015, the president was accused of having spent money of taxpayers for a holiday.

All the three are to appear in court on April 18. If found guilty, a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison can be announced.

According to critics the president is trying to intimidate opponents. Many opposition figures were arrested last month too on charges of training a militia to use violence during the elections.

Vice president of the main opposition United Party of National Development, Geoffrey Mwamba, too was arrested. He is charged with inciding violence against the president.

All the opposition arrested figures have denied the charges.

Lungu was elected in 2014 after the death of predecessor Michael Sata.

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