The Police Service faces a critical test in ensuring a peaceful and fair electoral process ahead of the 2016 elections, says Deputy Inspector General of Police Edwin Sibote.
He has implored the officers to maintain political independence and impartiality at all times.
Mr Sibote was speaking at the 2015 Equestrian graduation ceremony of 27 police officers at Edwin Imboela stadium in Lusaka yesterday.
He urged police officers to act on perpetrators of violence irrespective of their political affiliation in order to maintain law and order.
Mr. Sibote said there was need for police officers to understand the provisions of pieces of legislation such as the Public Order Act (PoA), the Electoral Act, and many others in order for them to operate effectively and efficiently and without any bias.
He said it was paramount that police officers operated within the law at all times as the country goes to the polls to ensure a fair and credible electoral process.
“Our organisation faces a critical test in how we can collectively ensure a peaceful and fair electoral process as the country goes to the polls in 2016 and it is the high command’s expectation that in executing duties, all police officers must at all times respect and obey the law in order for us to ensure a fair and credible electoral process.
“All police actions need to be guided by the law and I therefore urge you to familiarise yourselves with such laws as the PoA, the electoral Act,” Mr. Sibote said.
He said the police service would not take it kindly on officers who were tarnishing its image by engaging in activities which did not reflect its mandate by ensuring that all who will be found wanting will be dealt with accordingly.
He said the police needed to act professionally by not discriminating anyone of the premise of race, colour, sex, language, religion or political affiliation.
“As police officers, we must vigorously oppose and combat all acts of corruption and any officer found wanting shall not be spared because we cannot allow a situation where all of us lose our integrity because of acts of a few individuals who have an insatiable appetite for money. “I wish to remind the officers that violence and unruly behaviour must never be condoned. You have the law and you must apply the law so that those with intentions to cause mayhem in our country must face the full extent of the law,” he said. Meanwhile, Equestrian national coordinator Charles Musonda said the training had come at the right time when the department was grappling with shortage of manpower.
Mr. Musonda asked the high command to immediately effect transfers of the officers trained to needy working stations to cushion the shortage.
The Equestrian, also called Mounted Unit is the component of the police service which uses horses especially at scenes of demonstrations and unruly assemblies for crowd management.