Police abusing the law

It is not very wise for the Police to play games and underestimate the intelligence of Zambians.

It is common knowledge that Police use Police cells to humiliate and exact political retribution against political activists perceived to be opponents of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), just as they are always ready to unleash violence on defenseless and unarmed civilians from the opposition.

These are the realities on the ground.

In contrast they will be cowed by cadres of the ruling party to a point where a life can be lost and nobody is held accountable and yet there is evidence  of a fully armed and organized sorties transported to the areas where the mayhem and subsequent loss of life occurred.

This is not the democracy that Zambians are striving for.

Zambians threw out the one party UNIP era because it suffocated and repressed their wishes for a democracy in which they could exercise their democratic and inalienable rights of freedom of movement, assembly and conscience. They did not want to be regimented into a political formation that demanded uniformity and blind obedience.      

That is why the Police must be careful not to display ignorance of the law.

 The issue of Police controlling assemblies has been tested in the highest court of our country, the Supreme Court which ruled that it was untenable for a democracy to be shackled by rules and conditions that left determination to the caprice and political orientation of the officer exercising the law.

Mulundika and her colleagues went to the Supreme Court to question the wisdom and propriety of police issuing permits in order for citizens to hold assemblies.  The Court found it contradictory that while article 21(1) of the constitution guaranteed unfettered freedom to citizens to hold assemblies a subsidiary law namely the Public Order Act proscribed this right by imposing a conditionality namely that a police officer could either issue or deny a permit.  In addition the same law provided for an officer in charge of a police station or any magistrate to stop any procession for which no permit had been issued.

The Court struck down this law.  They deleted it.

These laws were a carry over from the 1953 Ordinance but which ordinance had also been truly tested by 1959 when the High Court of Northern Rhodesia acquitted individuals accused of an unlawful assembly.

The effect of the ordinance was to proscribe any kind of assembly regardless of the nature or the subject of discussion.

That is why by 1959 the Pubic Order Ordinance No. 10 were deleted from the Northern Rhodesia police ordinance and relocated to the Public Order Ordinance where they survived until the ruling of Mulundika and Others in 1995 when it was finally struck down.

The effect of the Supreme Court ruling was to abolish once and for all the notion of unlawful assembly.

In a democracy where people are free to speak their minds and assemble the notion of unlawful assembly is not only untenable but a complete contradiction.The suggestion that a police officer can determine the validity or otherwise of an assembly is a severe diminution and indictment of the constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

That is why we agree with Counsel Sakwiba Sikota, who has asked Attorney General Mumba Malila to counsel and advise the police that they have not right or power to stop Zambians from assembling in whatever form or shape.

The role of the police is to provide security and ensure that such meetings are orderly.

They have no right to stop them.  This is the law.

 

Categorized | Editorial

One Response to “Police abusing the law”

  1. Sinkamba Wisdom says:

    PF DAYS AND UNIP DAYS ARE THE SAME

    FELLOW COUNTRY MEN AND LADIES. WE HAVE BEEN TAKEN ABACK BY PF BY BRINGING THE UNIP DAYS OF DENYING CITIZENS THE FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY. ITS MY FIRM BELIEF AND TRUST THAT THOSE OF YOU WHO VOTED PF ARE NOW ASHAMED INFACT VERY MUCH ASHAMED BECAUSE WE TOLD YOU THAT PF IS FULL OF CADRES WHO HAVE NO VISION TO DRIVE THE COUNTRY FORWARD IN ORDER TO PUT THREE MEALS AT DAY FOR THE ORDINARY ZAMBIANS. TO DAY EVERY ONE SUFFERING JUST BECAUSE OF BLIND VOTING WITHOUT ANALYSING ISSUES. PF LIED TO THE CITIZENS. FAILURE TO FULFILL WHAT THEY PROMISED TO DO IS DECIETFULLY AND FRAUDENTLY COMING INTO OFFICE FOR TO PRETEND WHO ARE AND YET YOU ARE DIFFERENT BEING/ CHARACTER IS AN OFFENCE FOR THIS IS WHAT IS TERMED AS GETTING SERVICES OR VOTES BY FORCE PRETENCE.ANY WAY GOD STILL LOVES US COME 2016 VOTE FOR HH AND UPND FOR THE REAL CHANGE. ALL ZAMBIANS MUST BE PROUD TO CHECK THE WORTHY OF CONTRIBUTES IN PARLIAMENTS THE UPND MPS ADVOCATE FOR OR CONTRIBUTE.AS WAY OF BRINGING BACK CHECKS AND BALANCES IN THE NATION . I PRAY THAT NOW AND 2016 WHEN EVER THERE IS A BY ELECTION VOTE FOR THE OPPOSITION FOR AVOIDANCE OF UNIP DAYS TAKING ROUTE AS WHAT HAPPENED WHEN PF MPS AND THOSE MPS IN THE PF CAMPS VOTED AGAINST THE THE BILL THAT WANTED TO SEEK THE GOVERNMENT TO GIVE THE CITIZEN THE LEGAL ROAD MAP FOR THE CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS. AS TAX PAYERS ITS VERY PAINFUL TO SEE CONTINUED WASTAGE OF TAX PAYERS MONEY IN THE CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS. OR IS IT ONE WAY OF GIVING JOBS TO SOME PEOPLE. VIVA HH. VIVA UPND. ZAMBIANS PLEASE DONT LET YOU HEARTS BE TROUBLE TRUST US AS UPND AND HH THAT ONCE YOU COME AND VOTE US INTO OFFICE IN 2016 . WE SHALL COME AND GIVE YOU A LEADERSHIP THAT IS VISIONARY DRIVEN WITH INTEGRITY AND COMMITTED TO IMPROVE THE LIVING STANDARDS OF EVERY ONE. FOR WE ARE PROVEN SUCCESSFUL FARMERS AND BUSINESSMEN IN UPND. HH HAS ALREADY DEMONSTRATED THAT HE IS GOING TO INSPIRE US FOR SELF DEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY OF BEING ACCOUNTABLE TO THE DECISIONS BEING MADE FOR THE GOOD OF THE NATION. WE SHALL COME AND GIVE YOU PROJECTS THAT MEAN WELL NOT PROJECTS OF APPEASEMENTS LIKE THE CASE TODAY WHICH HAS MADE THE COUNTRY ACCEPTING BUDGET OVER RUNS AS A NORMAL WAY. LOOK FOR INSTANCE . IN MAGANDE NGANDU DAYS . WHEN THERE WAS A BUDGET OVER RUN THAT GENTLEMAN COULD SPEND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS AND COULD INFORM THE GENERAL POPULACE THAT WHAT HAS HAPPENED WILL NOT REPEAT ITSELF. BUT TO DAY EVEN WHEN HH IS ABLE TO ADVISE THIS GOVERNMENT THAT SI33 AND SI55 IS GOING TO HARM THE ECONOMY THE GUYS COULD NOT ADHERE TO HIS SAGE ADVISE LOOK NOW TODAY THE PROBLEM WE HAVE OURSELVES IN THE KWACHA HAS COMPLETELY LOST DIRECTION AND VALUE. VIVA HH . VIVA UNPD. ALL IN ALL ZAMBIANS BE CALM 2016 IS NOT FAR VERY SOON AND SOONER THAN LATTER YOU SHALL HH IN THE OFFICE TO COME AND MOTIVATE YOU THAT YES, IT PAYS TO BE ZAMBIANS AND THAT SON OF ZAMBIA WILL CHANGE THE ECONOMY FOR THE BETTERMENT OF EVERY ONE WHETHER YOU WILL BE IN OPPOSITION OR IN THE RULING PARTY. FOR US IN UPND DEVELOPMENT WILL BE TAKEN TO EVERY PART OF THE COUNTRY AS LONG AS THAT PART IS IN ZAMBIA. GOD BLESS YOU.

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