News

Lungu’s stance hailed

PRISCILLA CHIPULU & CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
THREE Church mother bodies have commended President Lungu for openly declaring that he will not interfere in the operations of law enforcement agencies.
And the Church has pleaded with United Party for National Development (UPND) members plotting violence because of the detention of their leader Hakainde Hichilema to exercise restraint.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) and Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) said in separate interviews yesterday that they welcome calls by President Lungu to follow the rule of law.
EFZ executive director Pukuta Mwanza said UPND members, who are aggrieved by the decision made by law enforcement agencies, should wait for the outcome by the courts of law.
BIGOCA overseer Peter Ndhlovu also condemned those planning to break the law with impunity.
He said reports of UPND members of Parliament planning to incite their supporters are dangerous and can cause turmoil in the country.
And ICOZ board chairperson David Masupa has described as uncalled for manoeuvres by UPND to incite their members to rise against Government.
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo says police will not tolerate anarchy and indiscipline during United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema’s court hearing.
Last week, police arrested and charged Mr Hichilema with treason, disobedience to lawful orders, disobeying of statutory duty (Highway Code), and use of insulting language.
The opposition leader is in detention after his convoy obstructed President Lungu’s motorcade in Mongu, thereby endangering the life of the head of State.
Since his detention, UPND supporters have been demanding the release of Mr Hichilema, with others threatening and attempting to protest.
Mr Kampyongo advised UPND supporters to maintain law and order as their leader appears in court.
He said in an interview yesterday that police are on alert to ensure peace and order during the hearing.
“It is not the first time he [Mr Hichilema] is appearing in court and we expect his supporters to understand that law and order must continue to prevail.
“We understand their vice-president [Mr Geoffrey Mwamba] urged them to remain calm but they [UPND cadres] were clearly defying the call, but I want to state that those who do not want to maintain calm will have themselves to blame,” Mr Kampyongo said.
And Mr Kampyongo urged the police to professionally execute their duties in accordance with the expectations of Zambians.
He said police are expected to be firm in maintaining law and order in the country.
“We do not want police to be slack in maintaining law and order like what recently happened in Livingstone [where UPND cadres held an illegal protest against the arrest of their leader].
“Police must not be partisan, or use emotions in executing their duties,” Mr Kampyongo said.

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