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LAZ Condemns Police Misconduct and Calls for Protection of Citizens’ Rights

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has expressed serious concern over an incident involving a police officer in Kabwe, who reportedly interrupted a courtesy call by former President Mr. Edgar Lungu at the parish office of Catholic Bishop Clement Mulenga. 

This incident, widely circulated on social media, highlights a troubling misuse of the Public Order Act.

LAZ condemns the police officer’s actions, viewing them as a clear example of the abuse of the Public Order Act, driven by the incorrect belief that citizens require police permission to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights, including the freedom of assembly and association.

LAZ asserts that all citizens, regardless of political affiliation or status, have the right to freely enjoy their liberties without needing police approval. Instead, it is the police’s duty to protect citizens as they exercise these rights.

The association warns that such abuses of the Public Order Act by the police threaten to undermine Zambia’s democratic progress if not addressed promptly.

In light of this, LAZ commends the government’s reported apology to the Catholic Church, interpreting it as an implicit denunciation of the incident.

LAZ calls on the Minister of Home Affairs to take immediate action to prevent further abuses of citizens’ rights and freedoms, specifically criticizing the ongoing prohibition of political rallies, which they argue undermines democratic principles.

This press release is issued in alignment with LAZ’s mandate under Section 4 of the Law Association of Zambia Act, Chapter 31 of the Laws of Zambia, to uphold and defend the rights and liberties of Zambian citizens.

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