Lusaka - Zambian President Michael Sata on Monday called
for an investigation into how the leader of the country's second-largest
opposition party amassed his wealth, accusing the multi-millionaire of stealing
Sata claims that the United Party for National
Development leader Hakainde Hichilema has assets worth $67m, ranking him among
some of the wealthiest politicians in the country.
"We have asked the director of public prosecution to
see if we can prosecute him," the president said at a swearing-in ceremony
for several government officials in the capital.
"He stole this money," said Sata, who has
lately intensified his campaign against opponents, arresting them on various
charges and raising fears the country is sliding toward authoritarianism.
Hichilema spearheaded the privatisation of some of
Zambia's state institutions under the late leader Fredrick Chiluba.
"Instead of giving the money to government, he
pocketed it and he calls me a dictator," said Sata.
Hichilema has already been arrested twice this year.
In January, he was charged with making defamatory remarks
Last month, he was arrested for inciting violence in
connection with the killing of a ruling party supporter during a violent
by-election campaign in the southern tourist town of Livingstone.
Politicians and journalists critical of Sata have been
targeted since he came to power in late 2011.