By BRIAN HATYOKA
and STEVEN ZANDE -
Government will consider taking further measures within the law to protect life and property if current steps being employed by security wings prove inadequate, President Edgar Lungu has warned.
Mr Lungu said the Government was studying the efficiency of existing public security measures to determine if there was need to take additional steps to maintain law and order.
Mr Lungu said the burning of public infrastructure in various parts of the country such as Makalanguzu market in Choma as well as court houses, court infrastructure in Mongu in suspected acts or arson, were only meant to punish ordinary citizens.
He was speaking in Livingstone yesterday upon his arrival at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport ahead of the ahead of the World Medical Association (WMA) reception at the Royal Livingstone Hotel.
Mr Lungu said he was worried that it would be the ordinary Zambians or the voters who would suffer if law and order was allowed to break down while the ‘big guys’ with air tickets and friends fled the country.
Mr Lungu said police had been very tolerant during 2015 and 2016 elections as the country recorded acts which bordered on so many crimes.
“As Government, we are assessing the situation…You want to set the country on fire and hope that people will rise against Edgar Lungu. Is that the politics you want to play? I have the mandate of the Zambian people to preside over Zambia.
He said he would not be swayed by people who were going to other countries to condemn him thinking that such countries could bring down his administration.
Mr Lungu said those people who think that he was about to retire should watch the space.
“I was telling people in Kasama that even those who wish me dead will not inherit when I die.
“There is no room for such people. If I die today, Vice President Inonge Wina will take over as President of Zambia. That is what the law says in case you haven’t read the constitution. Don’t wish me ill because you will not achieve your mission. 2021 will decide on this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu took the Livingstone ZANIS crew to task for playing an abbreviated version of the National Anthem at the airport when a clear guidance has been given to the institution to play the song in full.
“ZANIS, can I ask you one question; do you read newspapers or do you watch TV or do you listen to your Minister of Information and Broadcasting Kampamba Mulenga? I heard her saying that from now onwards we should be singing the National Anthem in full and not in parts.
“Please, how many times are you going to be told of the same thing over and over again? You played the first stanza and chorus of the National Anthem against the guidance. When and how many times are you going to abide by instructions? The same ZANIS has told us that to instill patriotism in citizens, the whole National Anthem should be sang in full but you haven’t done accordingly. It means you are not serious about your job, “Mr Lungu said.
President Lungu, who is accompanied by his special assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda as well as his Political advisor Kaizer Zulu and Justice Minister Given Lubinda, was received in Livingstone by Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya, among other senior Government officials.