LUSAKA, (FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2016)–Following his visit to refugees sheltering at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Lusaka on April 21st 2016, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces wishes to assure all foreigners in Zambia of full protection of their lives and property.
President Lungu further assures all foreigners and the nation in general that the isolated disturbances in some townships in Lusaka have ended. People can now go about their lives freely.
The President has warned of decisive action against anyone perpetrating any criminality in our communities. The President has directed security services to remain on full alert and take quick and stern action against anybody perpetrating acts of violence, incitement, and reckless rumour mongering which misled some of our people into venting their anger against foreigners.
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 Lusakas 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 continue to propagate falsehoods designed to inflame tensions in our communities.
The Head of State therefore takes this opportunity to appeal to all journalists to desist from such unprofessional conduct that has the potential to build tensions between Zambians and their fellow brothers and sisters who have sought refuge in Zambia.
“The extraordinary human fellowship that characterises the Zambian psyche is envied globally and therefore no effort will be spared in preserving this impeccable reputation the country has built over the years.”
“Zambians are rightly known to be peace-loving, as brothers keepers, and generally sympathetic to those in need. We have a record of having looked after ordinary and celebrated personalities from all over the world when they sought refuge here. Xenophobia is alien to our land and that is why security services will not tolerate any criminality disguised as such.”
The President, who this morning constituted a special committee of permanent secretaries and other senior staff tasked to re- integrate the refugees, said Government will work with the Church and the United Nations Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet Rogan and UNHCR Resident Representative Ms. Laura Locaastro to speed up the process which has so far progressed very well.
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.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
(PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS)