Zambian President, Edgar Lungu, has announced that he is increasing the number of deployed Zambian soldiers overnight, on election day.
Writing on Facebook, Lungu said:
I received with shock and great sadness the report about the killing in cold blood of Jackson Kungo, who was my party’s chairman for North-Western Province, and a brother of provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chihili.
I’m also appalled by the amount of mayhem witnessed in North-Western, some parts of Westen, and Southern provinces. Clearly, the elections in these places have not been free and fair.
When people say elections were not free and fair, they usually accuse the ruling party, but look at what is happening in these places! Who is causing this mayhem? It is the opposition at the center of it.
It is, of course, clear that these two Zambians have been brutally murdered by members of the opposition simply for holding different political views.
Yesterday, during my address to the nation, I said: “As long as I remain President, I will not countenance violence.”
And yet, less that 24 hours, later we experience such brutal incidents orchestrated by our opponents, who want to rule Zambia by force.
But I will not take kindly to these evil schemes. I will ensure the lives of innocent citizens are protected.
I have, therefore, directed the Army Commander to reinforce troops in the three provinces and not to leave any stone unturned in ensuring peace is restored, and ensure that this kind of anarchy does not spread to other parts of the country.
The job to arrest the killers lies with security officers. I, therefore, want to urge all citizens to stay calm. And to our members, do not retaliate. I know it hurts so much, but some killers have been arrested already, and the rest will be found.
Let us all remain peaceful during this period.
On behalf of the government, my family and on my own behalf, I wish to tender heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families and pray for God’s comfort and strength during this trying period.
God bless our great nation.