International Media Is yet to be accredited to cover the forthcoming treason trial against main opposition United party for national development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema (HH). The affected media institutions operating in Zambia’s capital Lusaka are the BBC, Bloomberg News, AFP including Reuters News agency are yet to receive accreditation by time of publishing.
The much anticipated treason case is coming up in the High Court next week on Monday the 14th August, 2017. The measure has also hit some local media houses operating across the Country.
Chief Registrar Charles Kafunda did not give any reason as to why accreditation was restricted. Hichilema and his five co-accused persons have been in detention for more than 100 days and are currently been held at Mukobeko Maximum prison in Kabwe, the Central Provice Capital.
Efforts to broker a political settlement seems to unsettle entrenched interests within both the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and main opposition UPND key political players who have found relevance and enjoy political spaces in the current set up when the stand off persists.
It is these interest groups that are going all out of their way to frustrate all efforts ensure that a political settlement does not see the light of day.
Efforts by the church led by Lusaka Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu of the Catholic Church, the largest Christian denomimation by numbers seem to have fizzled after some back and forth mediation efforts.
Then we saw former Nigeria President, General Obasanjo whose message was received with mixed feelings when he announced that the gap between President Lungu and his main Opposer, Hichilema has reduced, with the hurdle of the 2016 Election dispute being a left behind.
The latest efforts has been by Commonwealth Secretary General Ms Scotland who has announced that an envoy will be appointed to mediate the negotiations for the 2021 electoral map. In effect indicating that the 2016 political dispute is now settled.
ZBT’s own consultation with experienced political hands who we are unable to name for they prefer to remain anonymous due to the heated political situation in Zambia point out that the current impass is political and needs a political solution.
Lawyers due to their vested interests will argue otherwise. The external financiers of our ruling and main opposition party would also prefer the status quo as its cheaper to negotiate with government for deals when there are two strong opposing forces. Same applies for the Opposition party in dispersion for support will wager away all sorts of treaties to get and retain International support.
It’s really a simple divide and rule tactical approach and they get what they want. In the final analysis, its the common Zambian that depends on the good performance of a sitting government for a better welfare that suffers.
More political analysis to follow from ZBT