LUSAKA, Jul 6 – President Edgar Lungu has invoked Article 31 of the Zambian Constitution to proclaim a state of public emergency in the country following recent acts of sabotage and arson. Lungu, in announcing proclamation of the emergency here Wednesday, told the media that he had also referred the matter to Parliament and urged Members of Parliament to support his decision.
Under the state of emergency, the Head of State has given the police more powers to search, arrest and detain perpetrators of violence, following a recent spate of cases of damage to infrastructure and installations. Lungu said he had taken this decision to safeguard lives and property of Zambians considering the acts of arson and sabotage the country has experienced since last year’s general election.
Lungu said the recent fires and acts of sabotage appeared to be premeditated and he would not allow a few citizens to render the country ungovernable and that he would do whatever was necessary to safeguard the peace the country had enjoyed over the past 53 years. He assured law abiding citizens that the measures which come with his decision would not affect them.
They have no cause to fear or worry as the measures are meant to protect them. The president also announced the setting up of an inter-ministerial task force which would spearhead the rebuilding of markets which had been burned down. The committee, to be headed by Vice-President Inonge Wina, will help mobilise resources for the reconstruction efforts as well as assist market operators affected by the fires. — Bernama