21 November 2018

Zambia: State House Clarifies Lungu's Assurance to Foreigners

STATE House has clarified that President Edgar Lungu's assurance to protect Chinese nationals and other foreigners living in Zambia from victimisation does not mean they will be shielded from prosecution and deportation if they break the law.

Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda warned that any foreigner found to be on the wrong side of the law would be deported after serving prison sentences.

Mr Chanda said in an interview with journalists in Chongwe yesterday that Zambians should not divert from President Lungu's appeal to desist from propagating xenophobic attacks by accusing the Government of protecting Chinese nationals who were allegedly harassing locals.

"If any Chinese instigates a riot and goes into a township where it's exclusively for Zambians, the full force of the law will be brought to bear against that Chinese.

"In any case, a Chinese national, who's not a citizen, they are on very fragile ground because offences of that nature will earn them, not just a prison term but an immediate deportation. So if you know of any

Chinese that is instigating riots against Zambians that will be done decisively," he said.

Mr Chanda, however, said he was not aware of any Chinese nationals instigating riots against Zambians but reiterated that such foreigners, whether Chinese or of another nationality, would be visited by the law.

Mr Chanda said President Lungu did not want to see anyone destabilise Zambia's reputation of being a peaceful country that welcomed investors or foreigners from all over the world.

"We are saying those mischief-makers who are not abiding by the values that Zambia is known for, the police must act and act decisively, there is no apology to be made from State House that we are here to protect citizens from this country; investors," he said.

The Chinese government has formally written to complain to its Zambian counterpart over alleged victimisation of its nationals living locally based on falsehoods that they had bought some State-Owned Enterprises.

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