By Jackson Mapapayi
Police have been called upon to create a level playing field for all political parties to conduct their campaign activities freely without any interference.
The call has been made by the Human Rights Commission of Zambia (HRC).
HRC head of research and planning Foster Hamuyube said there is need for the police to uphold respect for human rights during the campaign period. Mr Hamuyube disclosed that the commission has received a lot of complaints from stakeholders with regards to the application of the Public Order Act (POA) by the police.
He said there is need to make sure there is a fair playing field where every political party has the same opportunity to reach out and engage the members of the public without disadvantaging others.
“Police are not doing sufficient engagement with the members of the public to explain some of the actions that they are taking so that the public can appreciate that the actions that the police are taking is in public interest,” said Mr Hamuyube.
He was speaking during the opening of a two-day inter-party dialogue meeting on the implementation of the POA held at Bishop Potani hall in Solwezi.
Mr Hamuyube advised the police to come out in the open and explain to the public certain actions being taken with regards to the application of the POA.
He said there are so many questions that people are asking and it is important that the police can come out in the open to explain their position and why they have taken certain actions.
“Because we have realised that the violence being experienced in some parts of the country is due to provocative behaviour by political party cadres,” he added.