PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the economy is almost shutting down in some sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic so it is imperative that he takes control of the situation, as the man in charge.

And President Lungu says he will not hesitate to fall on the opposition like a ton of bricks if they misbehave.

Meanwhile, President Lungu yesterday told Sinazongwe residents that he was delighted they had gathered to meet him despite the COVID-19 guidelines.

Speaking when he addressed the Sinazongwe residents, Monday, President Lungu lamented that revenue generation had reduced tremendously.

“As a government, we are spending so much money to fight COVID-19 and at the same time, our income generation has reduced tremendously. Because of this, the economy is almost shutting down in some areas; tourism is also an area which has been badly hit; the area of commerce and trade has generally been affected. The revenue coming in through the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) through the Ministry of Finance has dwindled significantly. So it is imperative for the man in charge, myself, to take control of the situation by visiting the likes of Zongwe Farms to find out what we can do together to improve productivity in that sector where they are involved. I brought with me the Minister of Finance, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Minister of Tourism so that they have an appreciation of what can be done in this difficult time to help this industry. I am sure we have seen enough. We are going to tell our Minister of Agriculture as well that there is potential for Agriculture in the Southern Province,” President Lungu said.

“I just want to assure you that we will do our best as a government and in doing our best, we will also pray to God to do his best so that at the end of the day, we get out of this COVID-19 situation. I have to emphasize that we have to do our best and have faith in God Almighty and leave the rest to him. I am saying this because somebody somewhere said to me that ‘why does Lungu think of God when he is in trouble?’ I think of God when I am in trouble, even when I am not in trouble because I know that it is God who is the most powerful. The Bible teaches me that only a fool says ‘there in no God.’ So let faith, do our best and look to God. We will pull out of this together and life will get back to normal if not better.”

And President Lungu ordered police to deal with lawbreakers strongly.

“To you my friends in PF, please, there is no room for violence in PF. I am saying so because 2021 is near, it’s next door and we will be voting during that time. I don’t want you to be injured or killed during that time because after elections, there should be continued peace and happiness again. Why should you injure yourself because of that member of parliament or that president? I am saying this in response to people who say I don’t condemn violence, I don’t speak out on violence please stop it! And for you police men, deal with lawbreakers strongly!” President Lungu ordered.

“And you know the law will take its course because that is what we want. No one is above the law. When you break the law, you are on your own. And I will not stop talking about this because I am in charge of this country. When law and order breaks down, the blame is on me. In other words, the buck stops at me. If things fail to run properly, Zambians or God will hold me accountable for that failure so I will not allow break down of law and order for whatever reason. By the same talking, I am warning the opposition that I will not hesitate to fall down on you like a ton of bricks if you misbehave.”

Meanwhile, President Lungu said he was pleasantly surprised that the people of Sinazongwe met him, despite COVID-19 guidelines.

“This was not intended to be a meeting of any sort. It was supposed to be a meeting at Zongwe Farms to see how things are. But I am glad that you found it in your heart to come and welcome me, this is how it should be and I am very grateful. This is a surprise to me because I am aware of the COVID-19 regulations which restrict gatherings and also makes it difficult for people to gather in this manner. The reason why I came here is to simply see the effects of COVID-19 on the various sectors of the economy,” said President Lungu.