Edgar Lungu’ Spokesperson Amos Chanda says there is no state of emergency but security forces have been given powers to arrest people without a warrant. He says his boss Lungu has given the police more powers to stop and search people anyhow and to detain suspects for longer hours without taking them to court.
But then, that is what happens during a state of emergency. So these are just semantics.
Moreover, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was arrested and detained without a search warrant three months ago.
While his boss told the country that the ‘baby’ state of emergency willl take effect after parliament has approved it, Chanda says the emergence took effect at 16 hours on Wednesday just after Lungu signed it.
Below are Chanda’ s conflicting statements:
THERE IS NO STATE OF EMERGENCY BUT A PROCLAMATION OF A SITUATION THAT MAY LEAD TO A STATE OF PUBLIC EMERGENCY:
President Lungu today signed Statutory Instrument Number 53 Of 2017 prescribing a situation, if left unchecked may lead to a state of public emergency.
The current situation is simply that the President has given police more powers to stop and search and or detain suspects longer than usual and may search people without a warrant.
Under a threatened state of emergency (Article 31 of the constitution) the powers invoked are those under the Preservation of Public Security Act whilst under a State of Emergency (Article 30), the powers invoked are under the Emergency Powers Act.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON FURTHER CLARIFIES
1. The Preservation of Public Security Regulations took effect around 16:00hrs, Wednesday,July 5,2017 immediately when the President signed SI Number 53 of 2017 which was immediately published in the Government Gazette.
2. The Proclamation took effect immediately and would remain as such for seven days after which Parliament needs to approve it. The measure then remains in force for three months and subject to further renewal.