WE are surprised by the continued hullaballoo over President Edgar Lungu’s declaration of a near state of emergency through the invoking of Article 31.

In our view, the invocation of Article 31 and the subsequent approval by Parliament is intended to guarantee or ensure that citizens’ lives and properties are safeguarded.

When the President made a declaration of the proclamation, he did emphasize that lives of law abiding citizens would not be impacted negatively in any way.

This means that the only people who should be apprehensive about the near state of emergency are those who harbour ill intentions towards the country.

In the recent past, the nation has witnessed acts of sabotage bordering on terrorism, in which strategic installations such as the ZESCO cables, power lines have been sabotaged.

The Lusaka City Market, a major development-initiated and opened by the late President Frederick Chiluba was burnt.  In Mongu, court premises were burnt, along with many other places that have been sabotaged, including the petrol bombing of our own offices in Lusaka.

We think that President Lungu’s invocation of Article 31 is on firm ground because Government wants to protect properties and Zambians from evil machinations.

This continued fear of the unknown is unfounded. What are these people afraid of? What is it that they are doing that they fear to be discovered? Probably, the police need to do further inquiries to find out why some individuals are gripped with fear?

The police have to get to the root of this unwarranted behaviour, and probably they might find the answers that they have been looking for. As the old adage goes, the guilty are always afraid.

In many instances, it is people with ulterior motives who can think of plunging the nation into a state of pandemonium for purely selfish reasons.

They cannot afford to hide their fear about the proclamation of a threatened state of emergency, hence have to publicly condemn so that they can protect their selfish interests.

Why would a sober-minded person fail to condemn acts of terror in the country, but come out strongly against an action meant to safeguard the nation?

President Lungu merely exercised his constitutional powers to bring sanity in the country and ensure that lives are protected.

Not only is President Lungu’s decision within the Constitution, but he also acted wisely because it is no secret that the country was gradually sliding into lawlessness.

It is clear that the acts of terror that had rocked the nation, required something to be done before there was a total breakdown of law and order in the country.

The same people who are condemning President Lungu for giving the police more powers, would have been in the forefront tormenting him, had nothing been done to arrest the situation.

It is no secret that perpetrators are looking for a loophole, however small, to pin the President and make it appear as if he is not doing anything.

Therefore, it is vital to give President Lungu and the law enforcement officers space to protect the nation from saboteurs who are bent on melting our economy.

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