LUSAKA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Monday sent a strong message to instigators of political violence, saying they were criminals who must be arrested.
The Zambian leader said it was time the police moved and arrested anyone behind the violence whether they were from the governing party or opposition parties.
Addressing hundreds of supporters in Chawama constituency in Lusaka, the country's capital, to drum up support for the ruling party's candidate in the mayoral elections scheduled for July 26, he said all citizens should condemn violence that has plagued elections in the country.
"Those perpetrating violence are criminals, don't spare them, just arrest them," he told jubilant supporters.
The Zambian capital has witnessed a spate of violence ahead of the mayoral elections, especially between supporters of the governing party and the main opposition party.
He said acts of violence should not be tolerated as it was mainly the vulnerable people in society such as women and children who suffer, adding that Zambians should cherish the peace the country has enjoyed since independence.