Monday 22 May 2017

Zambian opposition editor faces arrest

Zambian opposition editor faces arrest
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
Zambian opposition editor faces arrest

Zambian authorities on Friday sought to arrest the managing editor of the country's leading opposition newspaper, which was closed down last year ahead of presidential elections.

Fred M'membe faces contempt of court charges in a long-running legal battle over tax payments and alleged unpaid salaries since The Post newspaper was shut and its publishing company wound up.

Police raided M'membe's house in Lusaka on Wednesday evening but they failed to find him, and his wife Mutinta M'membe was arrested for allegedly obstructing the police.

An arrest warrant was issued for Fred M'membe on February 14, according to documents seen by AFP.

He is accused of "failing to deliver up to the provisional liquidator the real and personal property, books and documents" of the newspaper company after it was dissolved.

The closure of The Post -- a vocal critic of President Edgar Lungu -- was severely criticised by election observers, with the EU saying that campaigning was "marred by systematic bias in state media".

Mutinta M'membe on Friday pleaded not guilty to obstructing the police.

Lungu won the August election, but his opponent Hakainde Hichilema alleged that the result was riddled with fraud.

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