Zambian President Edgar Lungu has defended his decision to invoke a state of emergency in the southern African nation, saying he was only trying to bring sanity to the country.

President Lungu held a press conference in Lusaka this Thursday and struck a defiant posture, 24 hours after invoking a constitutional provision that paved way for a state of emergency.

Lungu warned that those who thought he was turning into a dictator failed to grasp the gravity of the security situation in the country.

The proclamation of conditions that paved way for a state of emergency will be reviewed by parliament within seven days.