Police need human rights training, says Jesuits
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.