Police Abusing Public Order Act, Says Former Justice
A retired Supreme Court Justice who is also the Chairperson for Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission was yesterday blunt and told the Zambia Police that they were abusing the Public Order Act (POA).
Justice Fredrick Chomba told Zambia Police Service Assistant Commissioner James Masiye that the Zambia Police Service was enforcing colonial laws that were revised long time ago such as the Public Order Act that clearly states that people do not need a permit to convene a meeting but merely inform the Police.
Justice Chomba said this yesterday when Mr. Masiye made submissions on behalf of the Zambia Police Service to the Legal and Justice Reform Commission that has been sitting in Lusaka for the past one week.
“But why are you enforcing colonial laws that were revised long time ago. I’m talking about the Public Order Act. It is very clear that one does not need a Police permit to convene a meeting but merely notify the Police,” Justice Chomba said.
In Response, Assistant Commissioner Siame who appeared never to have expected such an onslaught from the retired Judge only said the problem was that the Police service was not consulted when such laws were being formulated.
Mr. Siame appeared very blank on why the Zambia Police Service continued abusing the Public Order Act. Earlier in part of his submissions, Mr. Siame submitted that the 15 year minimum sentence for indecent assault was too harsh. He said for someone to be sent to jail for 15 years for merely touching a woman was too harsh and needed to be revisited.
However, Women For Change Boss Emily Sikazwe said she saw nothing wrong with the 15 year minimum sentence for any one found guilty of indecent assault.
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