DEFENCE and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu has handed the instruments of power to Vice-President Guy Scott following the death of President Michael Sata in London.
And Mr Lungu, who is secretary general of the PF, has called on members of the ruling party and the country as a whole to remain calm and peaceful during the grieving period.
Mr Lungu said the Constitution of the country provided that in the absence of the President, it was the Vice-President who takes over to act as President and it was therefore constitutionally correct for Dr Scott to act as President.
He said Dr Scott would remain Acting President until after the presidential elections which constitutionally are expected within the next 90 days.
Mr Lungu said the days ahead would not be easy for the PF and the country and that there was need for people to remain calm and peaceful.
“The Constitution of Zambia, article 38 (2) provides that in the absence of the President the vice-president will act. In this regard Dr Guy Scott will act as President of the Republic of Zambia until the country goes for a presidential by-election,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu said the cold hand of death had robbed the country of a patriarch who was a commander and leader of the PF and the country.He said although President Sata had passed on, Government had remained a intact.
He said Government would continue updating Zambians on each and every decision that would be made during the period of mourning. “Let us mourn our leader with calm and dignity.
That is the only way we can honour the legacy of our departed leader,” Mr Lungu said.
Meanwhile, Government has advised members of the public not to travel to Lusaka for the funeral of President Sata until guidelines on the funeral and burial of the Head of State have been spelt out.
Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said following the death of President Sata, Zambians should not take the trouble of travelling to Lusaka until after Government recommended the guidelines and arrangements for the funeral.
“Following the passing on yesterday of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Michael Chilufya Sata at London’s King Edward VII Hospital in the United Kingdom where he had been receiving medical attention, I wish to advise members of the general public outside Lusaka not to travel to Lusaka for the funeral until Government has given guidance on the funeral and burial arrangements of our departed President,” Dr Msiska said.