Zambia police raid home of opposition leader’s deputy, raising tensions
Police in Zambia raided the home of one of the country’s leading opposition politicians on Wednesday, raising political tensions in the country ahead of a presidential election next month.
Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, the running mate of Hakainde Hichilema, the presidential candidate of the United Party for National Development (UPND), said police fired tear gas into his home in the early hours of Wednesday.
“It’s sad and unfortunate that my home in Kasama has been raided and teargased,” Mwamba said. “My wife, my children and grandchildren were in the house when this happened this morning. My small grandchildren have been taken to hospital as they have been victims of this barbaric act carried out by the police.”
Zambia’s police said they were hunting for vandals who had defaced election posters and then fled to Mwamba’s house. A police spokesman told the BBC that petrol bombs had been found in the house, but the UPND said they were planted.
The raid comes just days after the country’s electoral commission lifted a ban on political campaigning that had been issued after police shot and killed an opposition supporter in Lusaka on 8 July.
Zambians will go to the polls on 11 August to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections.