The following press statement was distributed by the United Party for National Development:
UPND ON THE APPLICATION OF THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT.
The Zambia Police Service faces an enormous crisis of credibility following the manner they have handled the public order Act.
The attitude by the police towards the opposition and their performance in protecting citizens falls way below expectation.
Under the UPND Government Zambians should expect to see a more professional police service protecting all citizens regardless of political persuasion. The Zambia Police Service under the PF Government has on numerous occasions exhibited gross misconduct in contravention and abuse of the public order Act cited for unlawful assembly under section 6 of the public order Act No. 1 of 1996 to pleasure of the PF Government and President Sata.
The Supreme Court of Zambia ruled on January 10th 1996 that provisions in the public order Act that required citizens to obtain police permits were in conflict with the republican Constitution and were therefore declared null and void. UPND demands that the Zambia Police Service demonstrate total commitment and professionalism to the protection of all citizens in Zambia.
We shall not hesitate to seek court redress if the fundamental rights of our members continue to be contravened by the Zambia Police Service and the PF Government. The rights and freedoms which are entrenched in the Zambia Constitution were formulated with a great degree of specificity as they were meant to be susceptible to judicial enforceability and should therefore not be taken out of context by an indiscipline police service infiltrated by PF cadres. Zambia Police Service has a responsibility to promote values that underline an open democratic society based on Human dignity, equality, and freedom.
UNPD will be going the cha cha cha way if police continue to deny us space to assemble and express our democratic rights.
UPND Deputy Spokesperson