17 July 2017

Zambia: Japan Says Article 31 Decision Well-Understood

Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Hidenobu Sobashima has said the Government has given adequate explanation as to why President Edgar Lungu invoked Article 31.

Mr Sobashima said Japan supported any move by Government to preserve peace and investments.

Mr Sobashima said in an interview that the Government had explained that because of the recurring acts of suspected of sabotage, it had to arrest the situation by invoking Article 31 of the Constitution.

President Lungu invoked Article 31 of the Constitution 11 days ago, a day after a huge fire swept through a part of the Lusaka City Market, damaging hundreds of stalls.

He explained to the nation that the decision was necessary to equip the police extra powers to help them deal with what he said was a clear pattern of acts of sabotage that had emerged since last year's elections.

Mr Sobashima said it was important for investigative wings to quickly conclude investigations in all cases of suspected sabotage.

This, he said, would help the country continue to be the peaceful and democratic State that Zambia was known to be.

"Government has explained and we understand why. It is important for Government to uphold peace and protect investments," Mr Sobashima said.

He said Zambia was still a beacon of peace and democracy and was admired world over for that.

Mr Sobashima said investors anywhere in the world preferred a country in which peace was paramount and investments were protected by the Government.

He said Zambia was a preferred destination for investments.

Mr Sobashima said the declaration of Article 31 did not affect the interest of Japanese investors in doing business in Zambia.

He said the reasons behind the proclamation were clear and Japan supported any move by Government to uphold peace and protect people's investments.

Mr Sobashima said it was important for authorities to quickly conclude their investigations.

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