PRESIDENT Lungu has urged Zambians to tone down on demonstrations against xenophobic attacks in South Africa because he is handling the issue at the highest level.
The President told Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) shortly before departure for Mpika yesterday that he is handling the matter.
“We are all concerned as Africans. Zambians are upset because they did a lot for the liberation of South Africa, particularly through the ANC. And I think we should sit down and reflect seriously,” President Lungu said.
Some Zambians have been planning to march in protest and to boycott South African products and services.
He said there should be something wrong somewhere in South Africa.
“When you talk about ‘One Zambia, One Nation, it is oneness. I think something has seriously gone wrong with the psyche of the South Africans who are behind all this,” President Lungu said.
He said Zambians must not get involved because there is sufficient leadership in South Africa to deal with the issue.
And President Lungu said he will not be distracted by his critics during the short period he has been in power.
“For me it is ‘sela tubombeko’ [give us way so that we work]” President Lungu said.
And United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has expressed displeasure over the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, HILDAH MWAPE reports.
Mr Hichilema said in a statement yesterday that the South African government must act now to avert the attacks from spilling over to other countries.
Mr Hichilema said South Africans should dialogue with foreigners instead of treating them in a manner that can engulf the whole continent.
“The potential of retaliation is very high, but as peaceful Zambians, let us avoid retaliating to such attacks as much as possible,” Mr Hichilema said.
And CATHERINE MUMBA reports that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has applauded Zambia for embracing co-existence after years of hosting migrants and refugees.
UNHCR country representative Laura Lo Castro has also expressed sadness at the recent xenophobic attacks in some parts of South Africa.
Ms Lo Castro was speaking when she featured on ZNBC’s Morning Live programme.