Lusaka - Police arrested the leader of a small Zambian opposition party on Wednesday on charges of defaming President Edgar Lungu by describing the head of state as a dog, his lawyer said.
Chishimba Kambwili, leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), defended his comments as he was led by officers, telling journalists that his statement in an online video had been misunderstood.
Kambwili and other opposition politicians have accused Lungu of cracking down on dissent - a charge regularly dismissed by the government which says it protects free speech.
The arrest came two days after the state Registrar of Societies cancelled the registration of the NDC - saying its constitution was flawed and effectively shutting it down. Kambwili has said he will challenge the decision in court.
"The arrest is a clear sign of intimidation, coming shortly after the de-registration of Kambwili's party. The ruling party seems to be very uncomfortable with Kambwili," Lee Habasonda, a political analyst at the University of Zambia told Reuters.