Buy farming inputs instead of guns – Hichilema
PRESIDENT Hichilema has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security to review gun licensing as a measure to tackle the surging shooting incidents amongst citizens while urging people to buy farming inputs instead of firearms.
The president made the directive at Mulungushi International Conference Center yesterday during the funeral service of Lt General Ronnie Shikapwasha who died after being shot by his Jane Lusengo last Monday.
The Head of State expressed concern that gun violence was prevalent hence the laws bordering on the acquisition of weaponry needed to be stiffened to limit the unwarranted usage of guns.
“Given the manner in which the general (Ronnie) Shikapwasha) departed from us through gunshot wounds and the observation I have made this year alone from actually christmas upto now, I have been seeing so much usage of firearms,” President Hichilema noted.
He wondered why most citizens are going armed in public yet there are laws prohibiting such illicit acts.
“At parties people are carrying arms, they are loaded they are going for a party. How do you load a gun going to the party what is your intention ? Who do you want to harm?,” he wondered.
“I have seen it, social circles this is the culture the country had begun to embrace in the last 10 years that a gun is one of the items you carry around no! no, no, no.”
President Hichilema ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Inspector General of police to think how shootings can be controlled through the licensing system.
President Hichilema said the money spent on purchasing ammunition by gunmen can be allocated towards pressing needs like farming inputs yet many have misplaced goals.
“I have directed Inspector General of Police the minister of home affairs to review the gun licensing system. The laws around there the practices around there, the permits , purchase of bullets I would rather spend that money not on bullets but fertilizer,” he said.
“I would rather spend that money on seed so minister (Jacob Mwiimbu)I see you are within you’ve got my message from this funeral house start looking at the laws, licensing authorities and procedures for guns, ammunition , so we can protect citizens in the homes in public places, markets, bustops.”
He indicated that the country will not revert to the gun culture as was witnessed in the previous regime hence law enforcers need to safeguard the citizenry by nipping the vice in the bud.
“Zambians over a little bit of time forget things. Not long ago it was common at intercity to see guns being used and discharged every single day, At kulima tower at Kamugodi it was normal to see guns in minibuses on the roads. We don’t see those things now but we should go further and deal with issue so that people can feel home, feel safe all the time,” said President Hichilema.
By Mwaka Ndawa