PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has warned perpetrators of criminal activities in communities of decisive action and directed State security services to be on alert to take quick action against those who would get involved in riotous activities.
The President has also warned that inciting citizens to engage in violent, riotous activities and rumour-mongering which led to the looting of shops belonging to foreigners would not be condoned.
The President said no foreigner had been killed as a result of the riots that followed a spate of ritual killings in Lusaka’s Matero and Zingalume Townships.
In a statement released by Amos Chanda, the Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, President Lungu, however, said two Zambians died in the riots and named the deceased as Julius Kazungo (47), a teacher from Zambezi High School and another male yet to be identified.
Mr Chanda said the Head of State stated that it was grossly irresponsible for some media outlets to falsely allege that any foreigner had been killed in xenophobic violence in Zambia.
He stated that President Lungu has warned citizens including media practitioners of stern action should they continue to propagate falsehoods designed to inflame tensions in communities.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu had assured all foreigners resident in Zambia and the nation in general that the isolated disturbances in some townships in Lusaka had ended. Citizens were now freely going about with their daily lives. He said President Lungu appealed to journalists to desist from unprofessional conduct of inflaming people’s emotions which had the potential to create tensions between Zambians and their brothers and sisters who had sought refuge in Zambia.
“The Head of State wishes to state clearly that no foreigner has been killed in the recent riots that followed a spate of ritual murders in Lusaka’s Matero and Zingalume townships. Two Zambians died in the consequent riots: Mr. Julius Kazungo (47), a teacher from Zambezi High School and another male yet to be formally identified.”
It is therefore, grossly irresponsible for some media outlets to allege falsely that any foreigner has been killed in xenophobic violence in Zambia. The President warns all citizens including media practitioners of stern action if they continued to propagate falsehoods designed to inflame tensions in our communities,” Mr Chanda said.
He said President Lungu reiterated that Zambians were rightly known to be peace-loving and generally sympathetic towards foreign citizens. He stressed that Zambians had a record of having looked after ordinary and celebrated personalities from the world over.
“Xenophobia is alien to our land and that is why security services will not tolerate any criminality disguised as such. Zambia has an impeccable record as a peaceful, stable, tolerant, and multi-cultural society that has lived in peace and harmony with foreign nationals. I am ashamed, on behalf of the entire republic, that some of our people are committing criminal acts against foreigners,” President Lungu said.