President Edgar Lungu has warned striking civil servants across the country to stop sabotaging government operations by abandoning their official duties because they will be dismissed from work.

The President advised the civil servants and other government employees not to listen to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who has been promising to reinstate fired civil servants when he assumes power in 2021, saying the opposition has no chance of getting into power in 2021.

Speaking at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola before departure for Lusaka, Thursday, President Lungu said warned striking civil servants who had been demanding salary arrears.

“As a I go back to Lusaka, I have heard statements and things like ‘no they are harassing people’, no we are not harassing people. Nga niwe (if you are a) civil servant then taulebomba (you are not working), you are turning away from work, we will remove you, that’s what we will do. So those who are saying ‘no nga tabwela nkamibwesha pa nchito (when we come into power, we will reinstate you at work)’, they are not coming in balya ndemweba (I am telling you). We are solely in charge of this country. So nga balemibepa ati nga ateka ichalo akesakubwesha mu 2021 uleloba ilyauma pantu (if they are lying to you that you will be reinstated at work when they come into power in 2021, you will hit a snag) they are not coming in 2021 I can assure you,” President Lungu said.

“Zambians have seen who they are, they are evil schemers who don’t mean anything good for us. So please let’s be on the look out. Those who will sabotage government operations will be removed, we don’t mind whether you are working for the council or for the civil service in central government, we will remove you because twanaka (we are tired)!”

Meanwhile, President Lungu called on his supporters not to give in to violence being perpetrated by the opposition.

“I am so grateful to you ba Kopala (people of the Copperbelt). But on Tuesday, I will be here to come and campaign with you in Roan. On 9th and 10th, we will be together in Roan to Campaign. Let me just encourage you to continue being peaceful. I know there is temptation, there is desire in UPND, [and] whatever type of things to provoke violence but we continue being peaceful because we are peaceful people. Some people have vowed that whatever happens, they want to put this country on fire by 2021. some people have vowed to put this country on fire by 2021. but don’t give them a chance to do that because fwebakachulilamo nifwebo (it’s us who are going to suffer if that happens). Them they’ve got nothing to lose themselves. All the things which are intended to bring chaos should not be allowed,” the President said.

And speaking when he addressed Chililabombwe residents after commissioning a housing project for the Catholic Diocese of Ndola, the President said he was going to engage SADC leaders to intervene in the situation where the Congolese government had closed its borders to Zambian transporters.

“I have seen that there is a problem with transporters going into Congo. This problem is not for Zambia to sort out, it’s a problem for Congo sort out. But I will use SADC to put pressure on Congo so that they open the country so that transporters can go in. These truckers you are seeing here are not a problem of the Zambian government, it’s a problem of the DRC government. So I will have to engage SADC. Kuli ubwafya ku Congo nimbona (I have seen that there is a problem in Congo)… Then on the issue of township roads here, the road network is very bad here in Chililabombwe. I can see and they have told me about it. So we will ensure that as part of the C-400 project, part of that will be allocated to the roads here so that some of the roads can be worked on and become passable very soon,” President Lungu said.

He also asked Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to to find money and pay contractors.

“And then pama contractors, ningufwa ukweba ati ku KCM kuli ubwafya (I have heard the problem with contractors at KCM). Nimbeba nokubeba ati fwayeni indalama mulipile abantu (I have even tasked them to look for money to pay people). The owners of KCM came to Lusaka and assured me that they will put in money. So we will ask them as we go to Lusaka to do something about this. All I can assure you is that we are on course, we may have slowed down on some projects. But it’s because of the scarcity of money. But the government is aware of priority areas and I want to assure you that tatwalaba ifyo twamilaile (we haven’t forgotten about the things we promised you),” said President Lungu.

Meanwhile, Speaking when he commissioned the Catholic Church’s housing units for the priests in Chililabombwe, the President called on the Church not to leave him out of their works just because he did not belong to their congregation.