Below is the statement from President Edgar Chagwa Lungu:

“Good morning fellow citizens,

Last Sunday a fellow Zambian named Martin Mbaya, a PF member and known associate of my family was forcefully ejected from a church service at Lusaka’s Bethel Christian Centre in Nyumba Yanga while praying.

The unfortunate incident occurred in full view of his wife, children and other congregants that remain shocked today at the action of unruly DEC officers. From the church they drove him to his house where they broke down doors, stormed into his house and commenced a search, which I understand was for money, that could belong to “Edgar Lungu.”

The search ensued from morning to midnight, but alas no money was found.

My point here is that what happened to Martin could easily happen to any Zambian under the current administration of President Hakainde Hichilema where the rule of law is breaking down fast right in front of our eyes.

You have seen good people like mama Edith Nawakwi and Geofrey Mwamba being frustrated at the airport whenever they attempt to travel out of the country for medical attention.

You have seen people like Dr. Chris Zimba, Emmanuel Mwamba, Raphael Nakachinda, Chilufya Tayali being arrested on flimsy grounds while others like Hon Given Lubinda have been dragged to court without enough evidence for conviction.

Sadly, all these wanton abuses are occurring at a time President Hichilema is being ranked as a ´top five leader´ on the continent, we wonder what criteria is being used in the light of all abuses in Zambia.

All we ask is that the government of President Hakainde Hichilema march their words with action regarding the rule of law and arrest wrong doers only after thorough investigations have been concluded.

That is what President Hichilema has publicly called for repeatedly after all.

Zambia is a democratic state not a DICTATORSHIP where law enforcement become the law unto themselves, its not the wild wide west.

The international community, the European Union group, Britain and the United States and fellow African embassies should take cognisance of these rising abuses under Mr Hichilema.

In a democratic country governed by the rule of law, how can law enforcement agencies disrupt church proceedings with impunity, forcefully pick out a suspect whom you haven’t established a case against and bundle him into a car and break into his house?

If law enforcement officers can break into houses and churches where will citizens seek protection?

I urge peace loving Zambians to speak out against rising abuses and shrinking democratic space because if we remain silent today it won’t be long before police start attacking people at funeral gatherings and hospitals.

Crimes must be probed but let us remember that everyone is presumed innocent in Zambia until tried and found guilty by a competent court of law. I pray with you that our country doesn’t slide into total dictatorship soon.

Edgar Chagwa Lungu
Sixth Republican President of Zambia.”

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