The Zambia Police Service has warned the public against issuing statements that have the potential to incite people to rise against each other.
Spokesperson Esther Katongo says it is worrying that Archbishop emeritus Telesphore Mpundu of Lusaka issued a statement that can cause violence instead of inspiring peace and unity.
Mrs. Katongo says Archbishop Mpundu’s statement that there will be bloodshed ahead of the 2021 general elections can influence those who did not intend to participate in perpetuating violence to do so.
She says it is important for national and church leaders to speak words of encouragement that will discourage violence.
Mrs. Katongo told ZNBC news that the elections in 2021 are not the first or last for Zambia and the police will prepare adequately to police the entire process.
She has since warned that police will not tolerate statements that are provocative in nature regardless of the person’s standing in society.
Meanwhile, some Chiefs in Southern Province have condemned retired Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu’s statement suggesting that there will be chaos in Zambia after the 2021 General elections.
Chieftainess Sikute of Kazungula district says such statements have the potential to divide the country.
The Traditional Leader has told ZNBC News that such statements should NOT be condoned by all well-meaning Zambians.
And Chief Chikanta of Kalomo district said the retired Archbishop was wrong to issue such a divisive statement.
The Chief said the clergy should instead endeavor to preach peace and NOT promote hatred.
Meanwhile Chief Mukobela of Namwala has urged the retired Archbishop to join politics if he wants to continue with such statements.
And a political scientist Chris Zimba says the statement from the archbishop emeritus Mpundu should be condemned as it is uncalled for.
Mr. Zimba says the country expects words of unity, love and reconciliation from people like archbishop emeritus Mpundu and not words that threaten the peace and unity of the country.