President Edgar Lungu has condemned the recruitment of youth militia which he said was intended to cause strife during and after the August 11 elections, and has ordered the immediate dismantling of the formations.
President Lungu said he was not going to risk the peace and unity the country had been enjoying because he was a peaceful leader.
He said he did not want to leave a legacy of being the Head of State who oversaw the breakdown of peace and was therefore not going to allow the breach of law and order under his watch.
Addressing rallies in Katete and Chaninda border area yesterday, President Lungu also said that he had information that UPND leaders Mr Hichilema and Mr Geoffrey Mwamba had resolved to reject the results of the general elections.
“What I want is peace and unity of purpose and development.
“We chose multiparty democracy but I will not allow democracy to destroy the country. Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba are saying they will not accept the results but I will not just watch the breakdown of law and order in the name of democracy”.
“When I say I want peace that does not mean I do not have the capacity to physically deal with people scheming to cause chaos and anarchy in the country.”
The President said no Zambian had ever left the country as a political refugee and that political leaders scheming to cause confusion before, during and after the August 11th elections should be ready to face the wrath of the law.
‘‘Do not force me to emulate democracies where opposition political party leaders are arrested before, during and after elections. What you need to know is that I speak softly but I carry a big stick. I am not saying this for the sake of showing that I am powerful but I am indeed powerful,” President Lungu said.
He said he did not want to arrest or condemn his political opponents but warned that Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba should not take his advice as empty threats, adding that he was not going to risk peace in the name of democracy.
The Head of State said it was ironical for Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba to announce that they would dispute the outcome of the August general elections before voting period started.
President Lungu said he was convinced that he was going to win the presidency and asked the electorate to give him the best candidates to stand as MPs and councillors who would help him govern the country efficiently and effectively. “Some opposition leader has been losing elections and changing goal posts with the hope that he would one day win. I am far ahead and those political leaders who cannot stand the political heat should get out of the political kitchen,” President Lungu said.