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Zambia opposition chief Hichilema quizzed over ‘anti-China comments’



Police in Zambia have questioned main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema for allegedly fueling attacks against Chinese nationals in the country’s second city of Kitwe, the AFP news agency reports.

Police chief of the Copperbelt province, Charity Katanga, said the politician was questioned for alleging that President Edgar Lungu’s administration had sold a state-run timber company to a Chinese company, sparking protests.

“He has been cautioned for sedition,” Ms Katanga told AFP.

Anti-China sentiment has grown in Zambia over allegations that lucrative contracts are being awarded to China.

President Lungu’s administration has also been accused of burdening the country with loans borrowed from China that it is struggling to pay.

However, the government has dismissed the allegations.

Mr Hichilema, who arrived at the police station in a convoy of supporters, said that he had “remained silent” during police questioning as “per our constitutional right”.

The politician was arrested in April last year and spent 100 days in prison after being accused of treason after a convoy he was travelling in allegedly blocked the presidential motorcade.

The charges against him and five aides were dropped after a deal was negotiated by the Commonwealth.

He has repeatedly questioned the 2016 presidential results where he lost to President Lungu.

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