Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has set the record straight on alleged debarring of opposition political parties from holding public rallies ahead local government of by-elections next month.
Kanganja has clarified that police should not use provisions of the preservation of public security act to stop political parties from holding rallies.
The opposition UPND has formally complained to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) alleging that they are being stopped from holding public rallies by the police.
Below is the full statement from Kanganja:
STATEMENT BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE ON THE FORTHCOMING BY- ELECTIONS
In view of the forthcoming bye-elections scheduled to take place in some parts of the country, I have directed all Police Commissioners in Provinces with impending by-elections to allow Political Parties to conduct their preparatory meetings and Campaigns freely but in line with the provisions of the Public Order Act (POA) and other pieces of Legislation.
Police Commissioners are further advised to inform Regulating Officers and all other officers under their command not to use the provisions of the Preservation of Public Security Act number 112 to impede the forthcoming bye-elections.
In the same vein, political parties should ensure that they conduct their activities peacefully and abide by the provision of the Public Order Act which requires them to notify the police on their intended activities as this would enable Police Officers to plan effectively and put in place necessary security measures.
Further, I urge Political Party leaders in respective areas to avail their planned activities to relevant regulating officers to enable them plan in advance.
I wish to bring to the attention of all political party leaders at various levels that it is their responsibility to monitor and regulate the conduct of their members so that such activities can be conducted in a peaceful and violent free environment.
I am sending a strong warning to all those that would want to deliberately ignore the provisions of the Law that we shall not tolerate any lawlessness but arrest and prosecuted all those found wanting.
I wish to remind members of the public that security peace and stability of the nation is a collective responsibility of all citizens of this great nation.
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
4th August, 2017