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Saturday, November 27, 2021

President Lungu’s intention to declare the state of emergency is totally misplaced-CiSCA

General News President Lungu's intention to declare the state of emergency is totally...

Bishop Mambo speaking at the launch
Bishop Mambo speaking at the launch

THE Civil Society Constitutional Agenda (CiSCA) contends that President Edgar Lungu’s intention to invoke Articles 30 and 31 of our Constitution to declare a state of emergency is totally misplaced and a knee jerk reaction to an incident that has not even been investigated.

CiSCA profoundly regrets the fire that gutted the city market during the long weekend and deeply sympathises with the affected traders. We do not, however, accept that that the incident of the fire at city market is enough justification for the declaration of a public emergency or declaration relating to threatened emergency. We therefore strongly urge the President not to use his constitutional powers under article 30, declaration of public emergency and 31, declaration relating to threatened emergency loosely.

CiSCA would like to remind President Lungu that the crime of arson is adequately covered by the Penal Code and is far from the realm of reasons for declaration of a State of emergency real or threatened.

We would like to further remind the President that suspending any of our fundamental freedoms is essentially suspending our dignity and humanity. Further, we want to categorically remind him that his executive powers are derived from us the citizens of this country under Article 90, and not the other way around.

Furthermore, we want to state that a declaration of public emergency is enforced by the police whom we have already seen disregarding with impunity some aspects of Article 15 which protects all of us, including suspected criminals, from inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment or other like treatment which is a non-derogable human right and cannot be suspended even in a state of public emergency. We do not believe that the police is adequately prepared to manage such an emergency considering that the previous state of emergency was 26 years ago and at a time when trust and confidence in our police service is at an all-time low.

CiSCA would like to inform fellow citizens that if and when the emergency is declared, there are rights that cannot be suspended even in an emergency. The full protection of these rights that cannot be suspended is impossible to implement in a state of emergency without infringing on them because human rights are inter-related, interdependent and indivisible. The rights to life, Article 12, to be protected from slavery and forced labour, Article 14 and to be protected from inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment, Article 15 cannot be suspended. We urge citizens not to be afraid because human rights are not a sovereignty issue and have not been since 10th December 1948.

CiSCA hopes and prays that the affected traders will be adequately supported to rebuild their businesses again. A clear and transparent mechanism should be put in place to ensure that whatever support is provided goes only to those who are affected. CiSCA prays that measures will be put in place to prevent occurrences of fires in public places and bylaws that guarantee the security and safety of people and property will be enforced.

Issued by:

John H. Mambo Chairperson CivilSocietyConstitutionAgenda


  1. This is not a knee jerk reaction. How many fires have we had so far. Over 5 fires destroying public property . We ve just been lucky no lives have been lost. Do you want lives to be lost then you will condemn the president that he was just watching with no action. Clearly if you are a law abiding citizen there s nothing to fear

    • @ tersius, How many fires and how many arrest so far, What are the police and OP paid to do, If they can not arrest the people behind these fires now, What makes you think that with the SOE the same police force will be able to arrest these criminals if there are any, SOE is not a magic bullet that will give spacial powers to the police to magically sport criminals, but its just a tool EL wants to use the silence UPND, If you are intelligent enough you will know that all this smells of PF, They planned it because they did not win the election and they know that more people are for UPND than PF

    • muntu wandi – If the SOE is declared, the criminals will have no chance to do silly stuff. Why are you worried? You seem to be confused about who won the last election – it is almost a year now, if counting is your problem.

  2. why should we be living in fear everyday we are losing property it isn’t fair this is 21st century, it is shameful if you have a cause or a born to pick with somebody why not target your opponent other than targeting the vulnerable who are always laboring to make the ends meet through selling small merchandise with very minimal mark up, God will surely punish you for your evil deeds!!!!!

  3. I think let’s leave politics out of this for now and support the SOE. Even b4 the city MKT issue, some of us really needed the SOE coz our innocent pipo were being attacked, u can imagin, around 22hrs whilst coming from work. Viva E.L, viva SOE.

  4. Zambian politics are a laughing stock of the world. Going through the speech leaves one wondering if the PF leader is quite sane! What are they in government for, one wonders! The people are depending on aid and the leaders haven’t a clue. Sad to see the people are just watching except for a few who had the guts to challenge. Zambia has an awful long way to go meantime the people will continue to suffer silently.
    God help Zambia, that’s all I can say.

  5. State of emergency by Edgar Lungu will not solve the fire issues Further,be reminded that the people behind these acts are also sophisticated in carrying out their operations so despite his foolish decision I still foresee the fires will continue.


  7. Lungu has become too drunk with power such that it is going to work against him. Now this SOE is going to hurt the same people it’s supposed to protect and also taken away their ability to rebound. How are the marketeers going to manage to get stock to sell, since working up early at 5 in the working is going to be crime, even selling past 1800hr is going to expose them to prosecution. PF cadres especially the ones advising Chagwa lack foresight, pretty soon all the PF cadres who were dancing on the street will be forced to get out of the streets early and they will learn the true consequences of SOE. The Police and the military will start manhandling poor citizens like dogs without any proper crime or case.

  8. No china only the guilty and those with bad intentions are against the SOE, if you are a law abiding citizen why should you be worried.

  9. Maambo just wait until it’s your fat itako that’s torched then you’ll realize the severity of the situation.

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