Government has taken the matter very seriously and has strongly condemned these criminal elements who have taken advantage of an innocent situation to perpetrate these acts of violence.

President Edgar Lungu has taken stern action and ordered the relevant arms of Government and security wings to immediately arrest the situation in those areas of the capital city where these disturbances have taken place, and bring it back to normalcy.

In addition, the Minister of Home Affairs is under instructions to carry out specific measures to ensure the safety of all foreigners, as well as Zambian nationals, who may be affected by these spates of violence. While significant steps have been taken to ensure the safety of all foreign nationals, may I also take this opportunity to reiterate Government’s position to call upon all foreign national who may feel unsafe, to immediately report to the nearest Police Station.

I am also happy to report that, as at this morning, calm has returned to the parts of the city which had recorded instances of disorder over the past few days. It is important to understand that these recent unfortunate incidents must be considered for what they are: criminal activities being perpetrated by disgruntled and in most instances, misled individuals. Indeed such incidences do not project a positive image of Zambia, particularly at a time when the country and its citizens prepare themselves for the August tripartite elections. Let me emphasise that Zambia remains a safe country and shall continue to be so because this is who we are: a peace loving and God-fearing nation.

I am certain that the international community is well aware that Zambia’s track-record as a haven peace and stability, has in no way changed, and that is why these actions have received wide condemnation from all sections of Zambian society.

Zambia has a renowned record because its geo-political history and culture of receiving and accommodating nationals of other countries. It has been a long-standing privilege for us, as a country to provide safe haven for our many brothers and sisters, and indeed compatriots who have sought refuge in our beautiful country. This remains true today, and continues to be a strong attribute that characterizes who we are as Zambians, thus making our country an automatic and natural choice of destination within the region.

Our country is blessed and proud of God’s favour to be among the few African countries that have never endured any political instability while continuing to grow democratically through peaceful co-existence under the motto, One Zambia – One Nation.

Finally, the Government of His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is committed to upholding democracy, good governance and the rule of law.

It is in this regard, therefore, that the international community should remain confident that Zambia, through the relevant arms of Government, will spare no effort to honour its responsibility of providing a secure and peaceful environment, not only for its citizens, but indeed to all foreign nationals who have chosen to make Zambia their home.

Thank you and May God bless Zambia

Lusaka 21st April, 2016