LAZ bemoans police inaction on violence

THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is concerned with the continued delays in prosecuting cases of electoral violence as more and more deaths are being reported.

LAZ vice president Eddie Mweetwa said there was great concern at the show progress in prosecuting electoral violence cases especially the ones in which the police were involved.

Mr Mweetwa said it would be prudent for police to step aside in those matters where they were involved such as the Mapenzi Chibulo killing, who was allegedly shot by a police officer.

He said police must expedite investigations in prosecuting cases of electoral violence to help reduce prevalence or recurrence.

“What we expect is for the police to quickly investigate and prosecute these matters in order to avoid delayed justice with

elections violence cases, but also we expect that they leave the scene for independent investigations on matters against them such as the Mapenzi matter,” he said.

He was commenting on lack of progress in most electoral violence matters, a situation he said could fuel the increase in such incidents as perpetrators knew there would be no police action.

Mr Mweeta explained that the absence of a complainant in a matter could also lead to police failure to prosecute.

He was reacting to Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja’s statement that there has been no report at any police station concerning the alleged violence against a Sinazongwe teacher, Pamela Chanda, by suspected UPND cadres whose video had gone viral on social media.

Mr Mweetwa said the Sinazongwe woman has been identified as the one being brutally attacked by suspected UPND cadres, but there was need for the victim or even relatives to report the matter to police.

He said for any matter to be ripe for prosecution, there must be a witness or a complainant for police to open a docket, and in the absence of a complaint police could not act as  the prosecutor and witness in the same matter.

He said there was overwhelming evidence of a crime having been committed in the video that had gone viral on social media, and that “there was overwhelming evidence to lead to the capture of the perpetrators and also leading to finding the victim herself”.

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