Zambia: Zambia Parliament approves enhanced measures to preserve public security

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – The National Assembly of Zambia has approved President Edgar Lungu’s promulgation of enhanced measures to enable security services to curb the rising cases of "politically-motivated fires and vandalism of vital electricity supply lines".

The measures, to be enforced through special regulations under the Preservation of Public Security Act, according to President Lungu, were deemed necessary to restore public order and to prevent a state of public emergency from arising.

Last Wednesday President Lungu sought parliamentary approval of the Preservation of the Public Security Act by invoking Article 31 of the Zambian Constitution, which governs threats to public security. State House has stressed that Article 31 should not be confused with Article 30 governing a state of emergency as feared by different sectors of society.

Parliament adopted a motion tabled by Vice President Inonge Wina to confirm and extend the declaration of a state of threatened public emergency by President Lungu.

The application of the Preservation of Public Security Act approved by Parliament on Tuesday evening allows strong and clear action to be taken to protect public safety. It is intended to maintain law and order.

A statement issued by State House after parliament’s approval of the President’s promulgation gave the assurance that "the measures are deemed necessary to safeguard the nation’s development trajectory and re-focus national efforts on building a fairer and stronger society, as articulated in the 7th National Development Plan" launched last month.

The invocation of Article 31 is expected to apply for three months, following which the Government will reassess whether the threat to public security has been addressed.

“All actions under the prescribed regulations will be implemented in a measured manner and targeted at individuals with criminal motives. No civil liberties have been, or will be suspended; there is no curfew; there are no lock-downs anywhere in the country; the public and private school curricular remain as normal, and so are other public undertakings.

"The country’s Constitutional order is intact supporting the full and unrestrained functioning of the three arms of government as enshrined in the Principles of Separation of Powers between and among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. All laws are in force normally,” the statement from State House said.

Out of 118 Members of Parliament eligible to vote, 85 voted in favour of the motion and the remaining did not take part.

All MPs for the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party supported the motion. Forty-seven (47) MPs from the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) are currently serving a one month suspension for boycotting President Lungu’s address to the house.

Recently, there has been a series of fires and suspected acts of sabotage, many of which remain under investigation.
-0- PANA MM/MA 12July2017

12 juillet 2017 07:01:20

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