6 July 2017

Zambia's President Lungu - What Emergency? It's Just Law and Order

analysis

Zambia's Preservation of Public Security Act, in terms of which President Edgar Lungu has ordered a state of emergency that isn't, really, is the kind of law rulers lean on in dark days. By KRISTEN VAN SCHIE.

The day after declaring a partial state of emergency, Zambia's President Edgar Lungu stood on a red carpet in front of a draped screen on the lawn of State House and told his compatriots to trust him.

"I know that people think I'm targeting political players. I'm not," he said. "I'm just bringing sanity to our country, so that there is law and order."

On Wednesday night, citing a string of fires dating back to August 2016, Lungu invoked a section of the country's constitution that allows a president to declare that "a situation exists which, if it is allowed to continue may lead to a state of public emergency" - a line of legalese magicry that sounds like a state of emergency and looks like a state of emergency but which, Lungu insisted, is not in fact a state of emergency.

And, technically, this is true.

The article Lungu referenced was not the one used for declaring a public emergency, nor did...

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