President Edgar Lungu says it does not matter to him if people call him a dictator for bringing to book those who create havoc on fellow citizens.
Speaking when he officially opened the newly constructed Chisokone market Shelter in Kitwe yesterday, President Lungu said he had been quiet for a long time and it was now time for him to act.
“So I want to appeal to you, campaign time will come in 2021, we will vote again. I want to make this clear , those of you who think there is joy to be derived from creating havoc on your fellow citizens, we will just arrest you am telling you, and if that will make me a dictator so be it. I will not hesitate to arrest you. I have been quiet for a long time, we need to protect other people. There is no one who is better than others. They want to destroy this country. You cant rule a country if you destroy it,” President Lungu said.
“I want to appeal to the people of the Copperbelt to hold on to peace because this country is ours, we inherited a peaceful united country from our fore fathers. Starting from President Kaunda, to President Chiluba, President Mwanawasa, Rupiah Banda to President Sata, they held this country together! Why do we set aflame? Now if you burn a house, you destroy where you sleep, is that normal?”
President Lungu also appealed to the Mayor of Kitwe to be civil in the way he handled street vendors and assured traders that government would look for money to provide them with decent trading places.
“Secondly my appeal is to the Mayor, as you remove people from the streets, lets be civil,these are our people. What happened was not good. For me and you! Our job is to protect these people. So as you remove them from the streets! Provide alternative place for them. My heart bleed when I heard what happened here, I cried. You people are doing your best but let us corporate. Our job is to work for you, we should provide for you,” He said.
“We are going to look for resources, help you council to provide decent for people to trade from. We will sit doing with the Ministry of Finance to see how we can find some resources for local authority to provide decent provisions for people to trade from because on the street there are challenges too.”
President Lungu further advised marketeers who had been empowered through the Presidential Marketeers Empowerment to pay back so that the monies could be used for empowering others.
“I was telling the mayor that we should find money so that we bring back the marketeers empowerment again. But my appeal to you again is that when you get the empowerment, you should be paying back so that we empower your other friends too. So all those who got marketeers empowerment and have not yet paid back, we will not give you any more money. What we are going to do is that those who have received the empowerment money and have paid back, they will receive more money. Those who haven’t paid, they are out,” President Lungu said.
The Head of State further assured Zambians that those who follow the law would not be affected by the threatened state of emergency.
“The culture of not paying back is a shame, it’s a disgrace for the people of Zambia. Money is coming to empower marketeers but only those who paid back. There are others who are saying no! They want to change the constitution. I want to assure you that nothing has changed, Laws are there to serve people, do not be worried, no one has lost his/her right. All we want to do is to give police more power to protect you, to protect your property. Let us follow the law so that we promote peace and move forward together,” said President Lungu.