Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says police will decide whether or not to arrest UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema after interrogations because they do not get influenced by anyone.
And Kampyongo says the shameful anti-Chinese campaigns must come to an end because China remains Zambia’s all weather friend.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo has warned that government will not tolerate any individual or organisation spreading falsehoods.
In a ministerial statement delivered in Parliament, Friday, Kampyongo said the riots and looting of Chinese owned enterprises in Kitwe were a result of misinformation by Hichilema.
Asked by Senanga Central UPND member of parliament Mukumbuta Mulowa whether government had any plans to arrest Hichilema at an expense of unity and national dialogue, Kampyongo said the Zambia Police would determine whether to arrest him or not after interrogations.
He said he was not in the habit of instructing Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja on who to arrest or not.
“Peace is what we need in this country. If one is a political player or leader of the nation, it’s also important that we all operate within the confinements of the law. As to whether a particular individual is going to be arrested, that’s not for me. I don’t micro-manage the Zambia Police service. The police who are investigating this matter will determine who they will need to interrogate, to query in order to get to the bottom of what transpired. I don’t instruct the Inspector general of police and his team on who to arrest and not to arrest. That’s their job,” Kampyongo said.
And Kampyongo warned youths who were allegedly mobilising themselves to cause chaos in an event that Hichilema was arrested, saying this time around, police were not playing.
“We are aware that some sections of the society were mobilising themselves as a way of preparing to engage in other activity of lawlessness. This time we are not playing, we mean business. To those youths who are being misled to be mobilised, let them think twice. And to those of our former service men and women who will want to betray their professionalism, we are equally following them,” he said.
Kampyongo said other people who spread false information about ZAFFICO, through social media platforms, were yet to be identified as the investigations were still ongoing.
Kampyongo observed that falsehoods and misinformation had the potential to divide the nation beyond repair and throw it into chaos.
“Members of this House are aware that spreading of false information is a criminal offence. We cannot therefore condone racism and discrimination against persons or group of people from anybody in this country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kampyongo said the hate-campaigns against the leadership of the country and xenophobic attacks against the Chinese should come to an end because China had since independence proved its sincerity and friendship.
“Today China which is being singled out in the senseless attacks and campaigns, has the second largest economy in the world. We must engage with China for the benefit of both our people and government’s. The shameful anti-China or Chinese campaign must come to an end because there’s no reason for hatred against China. China has been and remains Zambia’s all weather friend,” said Kampyongoaz.
Kampyongo said Law Enforcement Agencies remained ready to deal with any eventualities arising from the illegal activities of desperate politicians or criminal elements bent on fomenting chaos in the country.