Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has reiterated that the Ministry will soon start auditing the ownership of guns and fish out anyone who illegally owns them.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo says he has directed law enforcement agencies to pull up their socks because some people are daring them by causing mayhem.
Speaking when he debated the 2020 budget speech in Parliament, Tuesday, Kampyongo said the gun ownership audit was a matter of urgency.
“…And I also want to say, Madam Speaker, that we are going to take drastic measures in terms of gun control. We are going to make sure that we audit anyone that is in possession of a firearm! We shall be doing the audit and reconcile the records that are kept by the local authorities and the Zambia Police Service so that we know who is having a firearm illegitimately. This we are going to do almost immediately,” Kampyongo cautioned.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo said he had directed law enforcement agencies to pull up their socks.
“The events that also followed in Lusaka, the mayhem that has never been seen to a point of daring the law enforcement agencies in the manner that we saw that funeral procession being conducted (on Friday, October 11) won’t be tolerated. And I want to appeal to my colleagues, the fellow leaders: let’s provide leadership because violence can only attract violence. So, for me, I have made it very clear for our law enforcement agencies to pull up their socks and take their positions because they are being dared,” Kampyongo said.
“And those who are still agitating that they will continue to engage in lawlessness activities, they will have themselves to blame, and you leaders don’t come crying! We have enough human resource, Madam Speaker. We still have got fresh young men and women who are able to protect their fellow citizens who were harassed in the manner they were harassed by those unruly cadres in the manner that has never been seen before! So, our correctional facilities are still there where we need to keep some of these people that have become unruly.”
And he regretted the violence that rocked Kaoma during last Thursday’s Council Chairpersonship by-election where one UPND member, Lawrence Banda, was shot dead.
“Madam Speaker, events of the recent past, which have gotten our people concerned must not be ignored. And I want to say that from my Ministry, we cannot avoid to acknowledge the lapses that were witnessed when there was breakdown of law and order. We sincerely regret what transpired. And I want to assure my dear colleagues in Cabinet and also the Commander-In-Chief (of the Armed Forces is) that drastic measures are going to be taken to ensure that the events of the recent past do not occur. The events in Kaoma, Madam Speaker, are a source of concern and we are not going to sit back because for now, the people of Zambia have given us the mandate to manage their affairs. And it is our responsibility to ensure that where ugly events, such as what we witnessed in Kaoma starts popping up, we nip it in the bud,” Kampyongo said.
“The loss of life (is) regrettable and we have requested the police to get to the bottom of what transpired there. We have said before that when people are going for elections, we should allow people that are based in those areas to be the ones to deal with issues of elections. How else did we find the body that was killed to only realize that it was a Lusaka resident. These are things that we have been discouraging, but people don’t listen. And since people don’t listen, Madam Speaker, we have spoken enough. This is time for action. And we are going to act in the best interest of the State and our people.”
He said he would update Parliament once the full report of what transpired both in Kaoma and in Lusaka during Banda’s burial was ready.
“Madam Speaker, the youths who we are supposed to provide leadership to, I think follow what we say as leaders. Governments are put in place through legitimate means, and for now, the Patriotic Front under His Excellency the President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has got the valid mandate from the people. To start running on the streets with coffins on the shoulder cannot be allowed at all! So, I have requested, Madam Speaker, for a full report and I will come to this August House and update the August House on the measures that we are going to take in order to ensure that our innocent citizens are protected. And this is not just talking; we are going to swing into effective action!” he exclaimed.
He further said he would not allow Zambia to plunge into chaos because of “one individual’s” quest to get into State House.
“There are countries here on the continent where people are president, but they can’t live in their country where they are president, and we are looking after their people here as refugees. We wouldn’t want this country to go to that level, no! Just because one individual wants to go to State House? And I want to tell you colleagues that those of you who are in a habit of thinking that you can pay to cause mayhem, and you are in your comfort zone with your children not knowing that those children you are sending on the streets to go and get injured are also children for other people. We shall come for you!” warned Kampyongo.