PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has refused to meet UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema over the violence in Southern Province but has instead asked the opposition leader to go to Namwala and tell his supporters to stop the senseless looting and violence.
President Lungu said he was not going to meet Mr Hichilema nor sign any letter until the opposition leader told his followers in Namwala and other parts of Southern Province to stop the nonsense.
President Lungu said this yesterday at Bauleni police post after touring burnt makeshift stalls used to keep marketeers. goods at Katambalala market in Bauleni compound.
The makeshift depots were set ablaze by unknown people in the early hours of yesterday.
The Head of State was accompanied by Lusaka Central MP Margaret Mwanakatwe, newly elected Kabushi Patriotic Front (PF) member of Parliament (MP) Bowman Lusambo, Pambashe MP Ronald Chitotela and senior State House officials.
The Head of State said what was happening in Namwala and other part of the country was clearly a planned scheme by the UPND to instill fear in the people.
“But we shall not allow that. Everything that they were preaching during campaigns that they will not accept the results and the Armageddon have come to pass. But as Government, we shall not sit back and we shall find a solution to this. Let me also take this opportunity to assure the people of Zambia that as Government we shall get to the bottom of this. The wrongdoers and culprits will be brought to book,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu said instead of Mr Hichilema seeking to meet him, the UPND should first ensure that the violence was stopped in Southern Province.
“Tell him to tell the people who are bringing anarchy to stop. I will not see him and I have no time to see him because I have been succumbing to violence. So if he wants to see me, let him do the right thing.
“The right thing for him to do is going to his supporters and tell them that look, the matter is in court, the court will adjudicate and will let you know afterwards,” he said.
The Head of State said he was not intimidated by what the UPND was doing, ‘‘hence I will not meet their leader’’.
“If he wants to see me let him call for peace, let him go there with his team and tell his supporters that we want peace but otherwise I can’t see him,” he said.
And President Lungu has directed the police to deploy more police officers on the ground