Zambia ratifies 90-day state of emergency

Lusaka - Zambia's parliament on Tuesday approved a 90-day state of emergency decreed by President Edgar Lungu, a move that critics see as an effort to tighten his grip on power.

Opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote by leaving the chamber, leaving only the 85 members of the president's majority party to pass the measure.

Lungu last week gave police increased powers of arrest and detention, alleging that opposition parties were behind a string of arson attacks intended "to create terror and panic", including one that burned down the main market in the capital last week.

He denied any intention of creating a dictatorship in Zambia - until recently a relatively stable country -- and accused his rivals of trying to overturn last year's election results.

That election was narrowly lost by Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), who has been jailed since April.

His party's 48 lawmakers have been suspended by parliament after they boycotted an address by Lungu in March.

Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo said on Tuesday that the government would soon arrest the perpetrators of the fires.

"It's time for boots, for our men to be on the ground. We are going to put this to a halt. If it will take us lives to have this peace, so be it," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
23% - 1720 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
30% - 2264 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
48% - 3650 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.46
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
21.27
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
18.31
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.69
+0.8%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+1.3%
Gold
1,767.24
-1.7%
Silver
22.22
-4.1%
Palladium
1,874.00
-1.4%
Platinum
999.50
-2.0%
Brent Crude
85.57
-1.5%
Top 40
68,543
+0.5%
All Share
74,693
+0.5%
Resource 10
74,781
+1.0%
Industrial 25
91,501
-0.1%
Financial 15
15,595
+1.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE