An opposition party leader accused of defaming Zambian President Edgar Lungu has finally been released from prison after spending a month inside.

Fresher Siwale accused Mr Lungu in April of being a foreigner from Malawi.

Although Mr Siwale was initially granted bail a month ago, he could not meet the conditions set by the court: one required a government worker to be his guarantor.

But his lawyers applied to the court to relax the bail conditions, which led to his release today.

Mike Mulongoti, one of his guarantors, said the court set Mr Siwale free after waiving the requirement for a government worker to be his guarantor.

He’s out. I signed for him as well as another gentleman. It’s just a pity that while we live in a country that presumes someone innocent until proven guilty, the courts seem to do the opposite.

The bail conditions the courts set make people first get incarcerated as if they are first guilty then proven innocent.”

Mr Siwale, who could not be reached because his phone confiscated by the police, is due to appear in court on 5 July for the defamation case.

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