EditorialLocal NewsPoliticsPremium


THE pro-active stance that the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has adopted in relation to the Public Order Act (POA) and how it is being abused should be lauded.

This content is locked

This is exclusive material. To read full story, click on register and choose one of the premium subscriptions to view this content. Login if you are already a premium user.

LAZ must never shy away from taking a stand on major issues to do with the administration of law and order.

It must always stand firm oblivious of which political party is in control of the government.  It should not be scared of stepping on someone’s toes for what is at stake is justice for all.

We feel LAZ is right to question the commitment of the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) in ensuring that the much-maligned POA is administered fairly.

The POA has suddenly come under spotlight after the Zambia Police Service refused to allow the Patriotic Front hold a mass rally in Lusaka’s Zingalume area citing vague “security concerns” even though the notification was sent days in advance.

LAZ said it is deeply disappointed with the UPND government which has continued to abuse the archaic POA to stifle citizen’s rights and freedoms after promising it would end such kind of cruelty.

LAZ president Langisani Zulu said it is saddening that the UPND in government has continued to abuse the POA to stifle citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed human rights of association, assembly and expression.

In a statement issued in Lusaka, Mr Zulu said with the ushering of the UPND into government, LAZ like many citizens had hoped the abuse of the provisions of the POA experienced under the previous governments would come to an end but regrettably, little had changed under the leadership that had promised to govern the country according to the rule of law.

Mr Zulu cited last week’s episode in which Zambians witnessed the Police denying the PF’s request to hold a political rally as a manifestation of the UPND government’s propensity to violate the rights and freedoms of citizens using an outdated and colonial law.

To the surprise of Zambians, the Police Service through Inspector General Graphael which had cited the old excuse of security reasons in foiling the PF mass political gathering on the basis that they did not have enough numbers of officers to police the event, suddenly had more than enough numbers mobilised to stop the rally from being held.

While Zambians have not forgotten that the POA was abused even during the PF regime, and others before them, they had expected the new dawn administration to act differently and not misuse it.

After all, the UPND after being ushered into office had proclaimed that it would uphold and promote the democratic tenets that guaranteed political parties to operate freely.

Thus, LAZ owes it to the citizens to keep reminding the ruling UPND about its promise to ensure political breathing space for all – friends and foes.

As Mr Zulu noted, the fact that wrong things were committed in the past should not comfort the UPND government to repeat the same mistakes. 

The nation’s peace and stability can only be guaranteed when there is less abuse of the POA and LAZ should be pro-active to ensure that it is not.



Related Articles

Back to top button