As violence escalates two weeks before elections, President Lungu deploys troops.

President Edgar Lungu has directed the Defense Forces to assist the Zambia Police Service in dealing with political violence in the run-up to the August 12th general election.

President Lungu stated that maintaining law and order in the country is the responsibility of all security forces, not just the police.

He stated on his Facebook page that the soldiers have so far been deployed in Lusaka and will be deployed elsewhere in the country if the situation calls for it.

“Fellow citizens, In order to curb the polical violence we have witnessed in the past two days, I have allowed the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and Zambia National Service to help the Zambia Police in dealing with the security situation,” President Lungu said.

“Maintaining law and order is a daily chore of the police, but sometimes they need help from other security wings. Defence wing personnel have already been deployed in some parts of Lusaka and will be deployed in other parts of the country if the situation demands so,” President Lungu stated.

He said this step has been taken in order to ensure that the work of the Electoral Commission of Zambia is not interfered with.

“The events in Kanyama where two of our members were allegedly killed in political violence makes me very sad. I’m sad not because the victims were members of my party, but because they were Zambians who didn’t deserve to die in that manner,” he said.

He said government will not allow what happened in Kanyama to be repeated anywhere else in our country.

“We cannot shed any more blood. I expect all political players to exercise maximum restraint, even under provocation and allow the law to take its course. Let us not forget who we are – one Zambia, one nation,” said President Lungu.

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