Government has learnt with regret the reported violence in Lusaka’s Matero Township yesterday.
Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni said although government does not subscribe to the aims and ideas of organisations that were behind the meeting in Matero, it unreservedly condemns the violence that was reported to have occurred yesterday.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr Sakeni noted that the type of violence that occurred yesterday cannot be condoned in a democratic society like Zambia.
He has since called on the law enforcement agencies to ensure that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that all culprits behind what he called the barbaric action are brought to book.
Mr Sakeni who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, restated that the Patriotic Front (PF) government believes in democratic and peaceful exchange of ideas between dissenting sections of society.
He has however advised members of the clergy against using places of worship for occasions that are clearly political and inimical to the peace and good order of the country.
Mr Sakeni said in as much as the PF government will uphold and defend rights of every citizen, clergymen should also avoid being partisan in discussing matters of national importance.
He further stated that government stands ready to hear views of both those who are for or against the removal of subsidies but advised that the expression of views must be done in an orderly, peaceful and non – partisan manner bearing in mind the best interests of the country.
Suspected PF cadres yesterday were reported to have attacked the Black Friday campaigners that gathered at Matero’s Bible Gospel Outreach Church in Africa (BIGOCA) to pray and protest against government’s removal of subsidies on fuel and maize.
Among the injured victims were Church leaders, journalists, cameramen, politicians and other members of public.