Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema has warned potential coup plotters not to threaten the southern African nation’s democratic rule and stability.
It is not clear why he sounded the warning, but it comes in the aftermath of several recent coups in Francophone Africa and complaints at home about the rising cost of living.
“To colleagues that think, we are timid by being kind and that they can break the laws and entertain thoughts of illegal takeover of government including undemocratic coup d’état… we are coming for you,” he said.
Since gaining independence in 1964, Zambia has never experienced military rule, though there have been several foiled coup attempts.
Mr Hichilema, who won a landslide victory over an incumbent president in 2021, made the remarks on a visit to Kanyama, a suburb of the capital, Lusaka.
He acknowledged food prices were high and said the government was addressing the issue.
On Facebook on Monday evening after his Kanyama visit, the president wrote that this included stopping maize grown in Zambia from being smuggled into other countries and ensuring millers charged a fair price.
Zambian President Hichilema warns military coup plotters while speaking in Kanyama, Lusaka- 4 September 2023
🟢Zambia is experiencing a critical shortage of mealie meal a staple food in the country resulting in long winding queues
🟢"We will come for you heavily. We want… pic.twitter.com/Vp6PpcckRf
— Povo News (@povonewstv) September 5, 2023
Recent coups in West Africa have been targeting Pro-Western leaders… those accused of promoting interests of Western neocons. This warning from President Hichilema should be understood in that context…. “An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb” pic.twitter.com/VXy16ibc6z
— 𝑲𝒖𝒅𝒛𝒂𝒊 𝑴𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒊 (@KMutisi) September 5, 2023