Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says police will regulate and prohibit publications and dissemination of matters, as well as restrict and control assemblies during the Threatened State of Public Emergency period.

Speaking at a press briefing today, Kanganja also disclosed that eleven people had been arrested help police with investigations on the recent fires and acts of sabotage that the country has recorded.

“Let me clarify that we are not in a State of emergency. We have just been given extra powers to ensure that peace, public safety and order prevails in the country. During this period, police will regulate and prohibit publications and dissemination of matters pre-judicial to public safety, restriction and control of assemblies, control of movement more especially during hours of darkness, apprehension and detention of suspected criminals beyond 48 hours, search of places without a warrant, to mention but a few,” Kanganja said.

“With these powers, we have no reason to fail but instead, we will ensure that sanity, peace and order prevail in the country. However it must be noted that I will not allow any abuse of these powers entrusted in us. Any officer who abuses this Act will be disciplined accordingly.”

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Kanganja also said investigations into what caused the Lusaka City Market fire revealed that it was deliberately ignited.

“I wish to inform the nation that findings of investigations undertaken so far by the team have revealed that the cause of the fire was as result of deliberate ignition by unscrupulous people with ill and pre-meditated intentions. This means that the investigations have eliminated the possibility of an electrical fault or accidental acts as the cause of the inferno. Therefore, this incident is purely an act of arson,” he said.

“According to investigations, the fire started from stand number 238/239 in the yellow zone of city market. Further, the stand had no power for three days including that fateful day, no electrical appliances were connected to the power supply on those stands. I do not want to dwell into details as this may jeopardize our investigations.”

The IG further revealed that eleven people had been rounded up to help the police with investigations.
“But be informed that so far, more than eleven people have been rounded up to help police with investigations and the investigations which have reached an advanced stage and any time soon, perpetrators of this ill-act will be taken to court. At this juncture, let me warn the perpetrators of these crimes that police will deal sternly with anyone found wanting or has intentions of being involved in acts of sabotage or indeed any form of crime,” said Kanganja.

Meanwhile Kanganja warned that any person found on the wrong side of the law would face the full wrath of the law as police would smoke them out from wherever they would be hiding.