The Zambian government has issued a statement clarifying its decision to withdraw excess security personnel from the residence of former President Edgar Lungu. In a statement issued to the media on May 12, Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa stated that the action taken by the government was in conformity with the provisions of the law and was meant to align the deployment of security personnel at the residence.
Mr. Kangwa explained that the provision of security for former presidents, including the withdrawal of excess security, was provided for under the Benefits of the Former Presidents Act. Cap. 15 of the laws of Zambia. He assured the public that the government would continue to provide security at the residence of the former president in accordance with the law.
The withdrawal of the protective unit officers from Mr. Lungu’s residence came as a surprise to many Zambians and sparked mixed reactions across the country. The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Danny Mwale, stated that the decision was made after careful consideration of the security situation in the country and that the police had evaluated the security needs of all former presidents.
Many people have speculated that the move was a deliberate attempt to intimidate Mr. Lungu and weaken his political influence in the country, especially since he is facing corruption charges. However, the police spokesperson denied these allegations, emphasizing that the decision was purely based on security considerations, and the police were not taking sides in the ongoing political situation in the country.
The decision has been met with mixed reactions from the public, with some people welcoming the move as a step towards ending the culture of impunity that has characterized the Zambian political scene for many years. Others have expressed concern that the decision could endanger Mr. Lungu’s life and have called on the government to reconsider the decision and reinstate the protective unit officers.