Govt pledges to uphold rule of law

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:18:42 +0000




GOVERNMENT will continue to create a conducive environment to interrogate issues such as the Public Order Act with the aim of perfecting our country’s democracy, says Minister of Justice Given Lubinda

Mr Lubinda said that the Ministry of Justice was open to discussions which would enhance the rule of law as well as the protection of human rights, and had give an opportunity to civil society organisations and other stakeholders to make submissions on the review of the Public Order Act.

Speaking in Lusaka yesterday after he received a submission on the Public Order Act from the civil society organisations, the minister said that Government would continue to create an atmosphere for a roundtable to probe concerns raised on the Public Order Act whose aim  was to perfect the country’s democracy.

He observed that a number of issues had been raised by the general public with regard to the application of the piece of legislature, saying there had been sentiments which seemed to suggest that the country needed to relook at the provisions of the law in order to ensure as well as assure fairness in its administration and application.

“The Patriotic Front government on its part will continue to create the necessary space to interrogate issues such as the Public Order Act in order to continue to perfect our democracy’,’’ he said.

Mr Lubinda, who is PF Kabwata Member of Parliament, said that the law should not promote double standards, saying the public had applauded the Anti-Corruption Commission for probing Mr Chishimba Kambwili on allegations of corruption but that when any opposition leader was summoned it was perceived to be persecution.

And commenting on the Post newspapers escapades, the minister said that when Mr M’membe was being pursued by the Zambia Revenue Authority for tax avoidance it was perceived to be infringement of the freedom of the press and challenged stakeholders to objectively tackle such issues and affirmed that the Government respected and would continue to uphold the rule of law.

Meanwhile, SACCORD executive director Boniface Cheembe said that the POA had continued to be a source of contention and discord in the nation’s governance dispensation especially where opposition political parties were concerned.

Mr Cheembe thanked the Government for initiating the process of reforming the law which he said had been controversial and he urged the Ministry of Justice to make the reform of the piece of legislation as consultative and inclusive as possible.

And Germany embassy head of cooperation Frank Hofmann said that Zambia was a vital stronghold of peace, stability and democracy in the region.

Dr Hofmann said that good democratic tenets had a direct link to economic recovery and development, disclosing that the German government had committed more than 100 million Euros to support Zambia’s development for the next two years.

Meanwhile, FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza submitted that the police needed to be compelled to give opposition parties a two-week alternative date to hold their gatherings whenever they were denied to do so.

Mr Mwanza said that the police would always give an excuse of lack of inadequate manpower to oversee their holding of public events or that it would be a security risk but wondered that whenever the opposition decided to go ahead they would be met by many police officers in full riot gear.



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