President Edgar Lungu has warned all those agitating violence they would be arrested and that the law would take it s course.
Speaking at a public rally in Mbala on Saturday, President Lungu disclosed that he had received reports that some members of the opposition UPND , were planning to cause violent protests to agitate for the release of their leader Hakainde Hichilema.
“I wish to reiterate the warning given by the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Stephen Kampyongo, that any threat to the peace and security of the country will not be tolerated and will be taken out”
He disclosed that he was aware that some opposition members of Parliament met on Friday and discussed and plotted violent protests against government.
“We will be thorough. Anyone engaging themselves in illegal demonstrations or violent protests will be arrested.” He said.
He also advised Diplomats accredited to Zambia to refrain from engaging themselves in sovereign matters of the country.
“Let them do the job we accredited them to do in Zambia and not engage themselves in internal and sovereign matters of our country”
He also advised civil society and the Church to accept the rule of law and the Constitution and its provisions.
He repeated his earlier remarks that the law at this stage doesn’t allow him to interfere in cases that Hakainde Hichilema is facing.
He said, he is unable to intervene in the case of the opposition leader,as the matter was before the Police and the docket had since been referred to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“The DPP will determine the merit and the course of the matter and not President Lungu”.
President Lungu also said he had received numerous requests that he should hold dialogue or talks with the Opposition but found no relevance to do so as elections were over.
“The Elections are over. What are we going to talk about. It’s time to concentrate on developing our country”.
He also disclosed that the calls for him to exercise leniency and pardon Hakainde Hichilema were premature as the due process of the law was not exhausted.
“All criminal suspects will face full force of the law and the law is blind to social status. I won’t interfere with the UPND leader’s case because no law allows me to do so. His case will go to the DPP for consideration for consent to prosecute,” the President said.
“All diplomats accredited to Zambia and NGOs trying to force me to intervene in this case are wasting their time and I want to caution that they keep away from interfering with the due process of the law. I have no issues with the UPND and so even the so called dialogue with them is neither here nor there! Elections are over and the statutes governing elections determine how to win and that is over. I can discuss national issues that merit not a court case that has not been determined!”
“Hichilema is considered or deemed innocent and until proven guilty. The pardon is given to those found guilty and are already incarcerated”.
“It is for this reason that I am considering pardoning Chanda Chimba who is jailed but is unwell. Chanda Chimba was found guilty. He is eligible for a presidential pardon. We will see when I get to Lusaka…and consideration can not be given to those that have not even appeared before Court”.
Broadcaster Chanda Chimba was jailed by the Lusaka Magistrate but is reported to be admitted to the University Teaching Hospital suffering from prostate cancer.
President Lungu emphasized that he had taken time to make his position clear on the matter regarding Hichilema and said he would not discuss the matter any further.
He proceeded to discuss the development needs of Mbala Districts and Northern Province.
President Lungu is Northern Province on a working visit.