President Edgar Lungu says there is terrorism building in the country meant to intimidate him.
And President Lungu says he doesn’t care if the court frees or jails Hakainde Hichilema over his treason case.
Meanwhile, President Lungu says he doesn’t care if the IMF decides to discontinue negotiations for a bailout package after his declaration of a Threatened State of Public Emergency.
The Head of State also said he has granted police more powers to conduct random searches on people and property, adding that people who will be arrested under the State of Threatened Emergency, may be detained for a longer than normal time before being taken to court.
The President further said under the Threatened State of Public Emergency, his government has powers to regulate the media.
State House this afternoon hosted journalists at a press conference where the Head of State explained his declaration of the Threatened State of Public Emergency and allowed questions from journalists.
Responding to a question from a journalist who wanted to know if by declaring a Threatened State of Public Emergency, he also agreed with those who feel there was public tension in the country, President Lungu said there was terrorism building.
“There is no tension in the country, but there is terrorism building meant to intimidate me,” President Lungu said.
He said it was unfortunate that people would think the declaration was targeted at the opposition UPND.
“The reason why that gentleman is being held is totally different… It is sad that someone in incarcerated. I hope that the court can hear his case quickly; either they can convict him or free him, I don’t care,” President Lungu said.
And the President said he doesn’t care if the IMF decides to pull out of a loan deal which is under negotiations.
“I don’t think the IMF would like this country to go up in flames. If the IMF wants to go because of this, they are free to go. I cannot sacrifice people’s lives and peace… I am saying it publicly, if IMF would like to go because of this, they can go, I don’t care,” he said.
He further said selected parts of the country may be declared no-go areas and police would be free to stop people at any time and search them.
“There is no curfew, but police have more powers to detain and search people. Once you are arrested, you may not appear in court within the normal time. You may be held longer… You can call it a mini State of Emergency. But people are free to go out and dance in night clubs, those who want to go out,” said President Lungu.