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Zambian Police banned from marrying foreigners or risk disciplinary action

Zambia has banned its police officers from marrying foreigners for fear of disclosing state secrets to 'spies'

 

The memo which is dated 11 January, explicitly warns police officers from marrying foreigners.

Those already married to foreigners have been ordered to disclose their foreign spouses to the state within a week or face disciplinary action.

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Zambian Police spokeswoman, Esther Katongo who spoke to BBC defended the move saying it is necessary.

"When you get married, they say that you are one. You know what marriage is - you share secrets. And you can tell officers 'do not disclose' but you have no control. You won't be in their homes to always check on them.

Ms Katonga categorically stated no person nor amount of true love would come between the state and its security.

"The security of the nation is what is paramount."  she said

Ms Katongo told the BBC that a standing order had been issued, notifying police officers of the measure.

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“Issues of security are delicate. If not careful, spouses can be spies and can sell the security of the country."

She said the ban itself was not new and in fact police officers had previously obeyed the ban, the new directive was necessary only now after some officers begun ignoring it.

"There are a few officers who have started marrying foreigners, they are ignoring the previous requirement and this is why another standing order has been passed to remind officers what they are supposed to do and not supposed to do."

Ms Katonga clarified that is was likely officers who had already married foreigners would now be issued with ‘some rules they should follow’

Zambians who spoke to BBC however ridiculed the order claiming it was their constitutional right to choose whoever they want to marry.

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