By OSCAR MALIPENGA
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed all ministers and party functionaries to immediately stop commenting on the arrest of the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and engagement of foreign diplomats unless cleared.
Special assistant to the president for press and public relations Amos Chanda told journalists at State House yesterday that President Lungu has guided that all ministers and party functionaries should not speak on the matter without clear guidance from State House, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Broadcasting and Information Services and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Mr. Chanda explained that with regard to foreign diplomats, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba would essentially be the one to handle matters if at all there were matters to be handled regarding the engagement of foreign diplomats on the matter.
“The President has emphasised that this matter is purely a judicial process that must be restricted to the entire independence of the judiciary.
“The President wishes to guide that party functionaries and all ministers who wish to comment on this matter must seek guidance and clearance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, state house, or from the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services.
Mr. Chanda further explained with regards to the matters patterning to the security issues as a result of the same case, the Minister of Home Affairs Steven Kampyongo, was the principal officer that would speak on the security of the country with regard to the proceedings of the matter that was going on.
Mr. Chanda said the overriding guidance was that the matter was purely a judicial process.
“All party functionaries and ministers are advised to stay away from unnecessary comments but should need arise that they should be engagement with regard to foreign diplomats all comments and statements must be cleared by state house and the foreign ministry,” he said.