President Edgar Lungu of Zambia on Friday threatened to declare a state of emergency if people do not stop setting ablaze public properties in the wake of the arrest of the country’s leading opposition leader. Mr. Lungu said he will be forced to declare a state of emergency unless people stopped damaging pubic property. The Zambian leader however said the state of emergency would only apply to areas where there was trouble and not the entire country.
Zambia has witnessed sporadic fires where public buildings have been set ablaze since the arrest of Hakainde Hichilema who has been slapped with a treason charge. On Thursday, the police warned people behind the fires that their days were numbered as they will soon be arrested. The police suspect the fires were deliberately started to cause panic and alarm in the country. Meanwhile Mr. Lungu laughed off claims that he will step down following the intense political environment caused by the arrest of the opposition leader. Mr. Lungu narrowly emerged winner of last year’s elections which have been disputed by the main opposition leader.