THE LAW Association of Zambia (LAZ) has voiced out against what it perceives as the abuse of the Public Order Act.
In a press release, LAZ president Lungisani Zulu criticized the Government for not upholding citizens’ constitutional rights of association, assembly, and expression.
“As a growing democracy, we must collectively seek ways to advance the life blood of a democracy being the free exercise of the citizens’ rights of association, assembly and expression actually entrenched in the Bill of Rights in the Supreme law of the land, the Constitution,” Zulu said.
Zulu cited last weekend’s police refusal for the opposition PF from holding a rally in Lusaka’s Zingalume Compund using ‘security concerns’ as an excuse, which led to questions about the Act’s consistent application.
Zambia Police Service, through a statement issued by its spokesperson Rae Hamoonga, announced the postponement of the PF public rally, which was initially scheduled to take place at Muchinga grounds of Zingalume compound last Saturday, to September month-end citing security reasons.
Zulu referred to past court rulings that deemed such misuse unconstitutional.
He also highlighted the need for immediate reformation of the Act and an end to prolonged detention practices.
“In a democratic society anchored on rule of law, ours is, every person must be treated fairly and in accordance with the law.”
“Suspects, regardless of their nationality, must not be detained for investigations, and in any event not beyond the prescribed 24 hours before being brought before court. These are principles based on the fundamental human right to secure protection of the law provided for in Article 18 of the Constitution,” said Zulu.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba August 28, 2023