Po­lice need hu­man rights train­ing, says Je­suits

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By SAN­DRA MACHIMA THERE is need to con­duct train­ing of po­lice of­fi­cers on hu­man rights and in­depth Pub­lic Or­der Act (POA) knowl­edge as a means to fa­cil­i­tate fairer en­force­ment of the law, says Je­suit Cen­tre for The­o­log­i­cal Re­flec­tions (JCTR) ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Fa­ther Em­manuel Mumba.

Fr Mumba said build­ing ca­pac­ity among po­lice of­fi­cers would en­hance demo­cratic good gov­er­nance in the coun­try.

The cler­gy­man said this when JCTR met with po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Lusaka over the week­end.

Fr Mumba en­cour­aged po­lit­i­cal par­ties to care­fully study the POA for them to have a com­mon un­der­stand­ing, and also im­plored po­lit­i­cal par­ties and Civil So­ci­ety Or­gan­i­sa­tions to share ideas on the gaps that would strengthen the POA and in­vari­ably fa­cil­i­tate good demo­cratic gov­er­nance of Zam­bia.

“The Pub­lic Or­der Act has been one of the most con­tentious top­i­cal pieces of leg­is­la­tion both in its con­tent and im­ple­men­ta­tion in Zam­bia.

"Po­lit­i­cal par­ties must have a driv­ing force when it comes to re­view the Pub­lic Or­der Act and make mean­ing­ful sub­mis­sions. We need to show will­ing­ness to fa­cil­i­tate amend­ments of the pro­vi­sions in the Act,” he said.

Fr Mumba said the po­lice, po­lit­i­cal par­ties and all con­cerned ci­ti­zens must study the Act to avoid cry­ing foul once found want­ing.

JCTR urged po­lit­i­cal par­ties to en­sure that they mo­bilise mem­bers to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the aware­ness meet­ings.

Fo­rum for Democ­racy and De­vel­op­ment na­tional sec­re­tary Nathan Mu­longa has com­mended JCTR for tak­ing a lead in build­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties un­der­stand­ing on the sub­mis­sions and pro­vi­sions of the POA.

Mr. Mu­longa urged JCTR to in­ten­sify po­lit­i­cal party’s en­gage­ment with Zam­bia Po­lice Ser­vice to pro­vide ef­fec­tive checks and bal­ances and com­mon in­ter­ests.

Mean­while, Move­ment for Multi-Party Democ­racy na­tional sec­re­tary Raphael Nakacinda pledged po­lit­i­cal par­ties’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in the JCTR Pub­lic Or­der Act re­form process through the Zam­bia Cen­tre for In­ter-Party Di­a­logue.

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