Zambia's president warns of stern action against coup plotters
Hakainde Hichilema says he won't allow lawlessness to prevail despite tough living conditions
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema warned Tuesday of stern action against elements attempting to disrupt the southern African nation's longstanding peace and stability through coups.
With the country facing possible unrest amid high gas and food prices, Hichilema issued a warning at a public meeting held in the Kanyama area of the capital Lusaka.
"The rule of law will prevail in Zambia, and this government will take all necessary measures to maintain peace and stability. Actions to disrupt the country’s law and order will not be allowed," he said.
Hichilema has just completed two years in office, during which the country has seen mealie meal prices soar to an average 300 Kwachas ($15) per 25 kilogram bag and gasoline prices to $1.50 per liter in August, an historical high.
Despite striking a deal earlier this year with a group of creditors led by China and France to restructure $6.3 billion in bilateral debt and introducing free education among other achievements, Hichilema is tipped to be facing discontent from some segments of the poor, especially due to living costs.
He however emphasized that it is important for one of the world's most peaceful countries to uphold the rule of law.
"And because this government is alive to these challenges and working to resolve them, we will not allow those contemplating illegal actions that could disrupt the peace and stability enjoyed by Zambians (to carry them out). This government is committed to addressing economic challenges and will not tolerate any unlawful actions that threaten our country's stability," he added.