Whip them but not too hard, IG instructs officers

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Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja

INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has advised police officers dealing with abrogators of the gathering ban to operate within the confines of the Law.

In a statement this afternoon, Zambia Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo stated that Kanganja had observed that some officers had resorted to using excessive force in conducting their duties.

She said Kanganja had since called on supervisors to closely monitor the ongoing operations.

“He has guided that police officers should always observe the guidelines outlined in relevant pieces of legislation as well as Police Instructions which guide them on how and when to apply minimum force,” Katongo stated.

When asked if Kanganja had banned officers from whipping, Katongo responded; “Don’t misunderstand the General. officers can use minimum force and in doing so they still need long buttons. What has been discouraged is excessive force meaning you can still be whipped depending on the situation and the force has to be justifiable.”

The Police Chief has however called on members of the public to comply with Presidential directives and regulations that have been put in place aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kanganja warned that those who will be found abrogating the Law will not be spared but will be dealt with as provided by the Law.

Since breaking out last December the Coronavirus has infected close to two million people and killed over 100,000 globally.

Zambia has 45 cases of the COVID-19 and has recorded two deaths.

Last Thursday, President Edgar Lungu extended an order for bars, cassinos gyms and night clubs to remain closed for another two weeks.

The Head of State also restricted religious and other essential gatherings for a duration not exceeding one hour and with not more than 50 people in attendance.

In the past few days, police have been seen mercilessly flogging people breaching the presidential orders.

The police response has divided opinion amongst Zambians with some backing police action while others oppose it.

The Human Rights Commission issued a statement condemning corporal punishment meted out on those found wanting.

But a social media user called for the Human Rights Commission to flogged as well.

© Kalemba April 13, 2020

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