What does a state of emergency mean?


A situation of natural danger in which a government suspends normal constitutional procedures in order to introduces special measures such as increased powers for police or army , usually because of civil disorder or because of a natural disaster such as an earthquake.

Characteristics of the state of emergency:

1.increased powers of the police or army

2.suspend freedom of movement after certain hours e.g from 18hrs-8hrs no one is allowed to move .All should be indoors-if found you are arrested and at times remain in custody up the time it ends.

3.At times government suspends even court sittings in the judiciary

4. Governanment suspends parliamentary sittings.

5.Mult -national corporations like shoprite with shifts for workers will have to suspend some workers to allow for a short shift and this is not sustainable for the supermarket.

6.Mines have reduced production of copper and lay off some workers meaning some shifts are cancelled to reduce costs workers sent back home.

7.In cities Lusaka where there are traffic jams , many companies allow workers to knock off early to allow them get home early
8.Bus operators have to park buses by 17hrs if curfew begins at 17/18hrs meaning reduced salary.

9.No taxi pirating at night meaning increased hunger.

10.No bars or night clubs open meaning workers have to be laid off during the state of emergency meaning no salary.

11. Governanment may command all Telecommunication companies to switch off their internet facility meaning no whatsap, no facebook, no emails sent etc.

12.Private media houses will be closed during this period meaning no salaries for workers.

13. All trucks must be parked from 18-8hrs meaning slow deliveries resulting in losses and drivers are told to stay home by truck owners for their security.

14. President abuses his power and allows police to arrest people on mere suspicion .

15.if mishandled war breaks out

16.At times there is a coup detat where military ends up taking over and arrests all government leaders especially if there absolute abuse of human rights.

17.If you have patients at night you may only call an ambulance if it is available-or police emergency number and you are not allowed to visit your sick that night

18.When police fail soldiers come in and usually this situation has no regard to whether one is PF or UPND

19.Sometimes state of emergency resolves electoral disputes where military demands accountability from leaders especially when security wings become

20.The country loses when state of emergency leads to war.

21.Ending the state of emergency at times may not be easy that insecurity can be created forever.


There is need that the situation in the country is handled with care as the state of Emergency, if mishandled can backfire that all of us regardless of our political affiliation can lose peace forever.

The state of emergency can work well in a country where elections have not been disputed but there is disorder not where elections are disputed and a leader is imposing himself or herself as legimate winner.

Issued by :

Copyright (2017 ).

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