22 January 2013

Zambia: Police Deny Opposition Rally in Kabwata

Police in Lusaka have denied Zambian opposition UPND permit to hold a rally in Kabwata next week

According to a letter by Lusaka province Commissioner of Police Joyce Kasosa, the service is scared that the assembly will be violent.

Kasosa cited the behaviour of UPND cadres at Woodlands police station on January 17 as the basis for denying the opposition permit to freely assemble as enshrined in the constitution.

"Please be informed that as demonstrated by your party's behaviour that was exhibited at Woodlands Police Station on Thursday 17 January, 2013 in which your party cadres ended up assualting a police officer, the police is not convinced that the planned meeting this Sunday 27th January, 2013 will be free of violence to guarantee the security of both police officers and members of the public," she stated.

Kasosa said the service will continue monitoring the situation and engage in dialogue with UPND on future engagements.

Since assuming power in September 2011, President Michael Sata has ordered the police not to give members of the opposition permit to hold rallies on the pretext of security reasons.

Using the public order act, President Sata is stifling fundamental human rights with impunity in what is turning out to be a dictatorial regime.

Rallies in Lusaka, Copperbelt and Livingstone organised by both the MMD and UPND have cancelled in some cases without any explanation.

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