16 March 2017

Zambia: Govt Warns Against Abrogation of POA

THE Government has directed the Zambia Police Service to institute an early warning system for illegal public gatherings to ensure that potential breaches of public order are prevented in good time.

Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has further warned that no political party will be spared for abrogating the provisions of the Public Order Act (POA).

Mr Kampyongo further told Parliament in a ministerial statement yesterday arising from a point of order by Monze Central United Party for National Development (UPND) Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu that the March 3, 2017 demonstration at the Law Association of Zambia offices by alleged Patriotic Front (PF) cadres was illegal.

Mr Kampyongo told the House that illegal demonstrations contravened the provisions of the law, often breached the POA and peace in the country and that all organisations, associations and persons operating in Zambia were bound by the provisions of the POA.

Mr Kampyongo, however, said the Government was concerned by the apparent increase in the number of public demonstrations carried out by some political parties, students, public service drivers and some community members.

"Sir, my Ministry has since directed the Zambia Police Service to institute an early warning system for illegal public meetings, processions and or demonstrations to ensure that any potential breaches of public order are prevented in good time," he said.

Mr Kampyongo also directed the Zambia Police Service to work closely with the Registrar of Societies and put measures in place to ensure that all organisations, associations and individuals observed the provisions of the POA whenever they wished to hold public demonstrations or meetings.

He said measures to ensure compliance of the POA, included sensitisation of leaders of organisations at all levels and the public through radio and television programmes, provision of advice to the leaders on the need to ensure public order during public meetings, processions and demonstrations.

The other measure, was for the police to increase foot and motorised patrols to ensure that any illegal public meetings, processions and demonstrations were dispersed before causing any significant public disorder.

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