Throwing out POA motion in Parliament is a Sham-UPND

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Police officers push Zambezi West Member of Parliament Charles Kakoma out of the Lusaka Central Police Station
FILE: Police officers push Zambezi West Member of Parliament Charles Kakoma out of the Lusaka Central Police Station

The United Party for National Development (UPND) has described the events in parliament on Thursday where parliament defeated the private members bill on the Public Order Act (POA) as a sham.

In a statement released to the media by party spokesperson charles Kakoma, the party wondered
why the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) was fighting against having this piece of archaic legislation amended.

Below is the full statement

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

PUBLIC ORDER ACT

What happened in Parliament on Thursday regarding the Public Order Act is a sham and the Patriotic Front should be ashamed.

All parties sitting in Parliament have leaders. Those leaders convene meetings in consultation with the leader of the party on what decision they will make on the subjects of discussion in Parliament.

If you recall, when the constitution was being debated, the leader of the MMD, Hon. Mutolo Phiri, made a statement on how they were going to vote, so did the leader of the UPND, Hon. Gary Nkombo.

The leader of Government also made a statement, and for sure the constitution was passed, albeit now they are desperately trying to reverse it after seeing that it is working against them. So President Lungu knew that he was politicking when he made that announcement that he wanted the POA amended.

What happened during the debate of the Public Order Act when a motion was introduced by UPND MP for Choma, Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, goes to show what kind of Government we have.

This is the same group that pandered on this subject when they were in opposition, but barely a month in Government, they u-turned. The amount of u-turns this Government has made has left the country dizzy.

Now they are fighting the same legislation that their own President directed then to amend. They are going against their own leader, so why does President Lungu make these pronouncements before lobbying his MPs? Is it that he does it for political reasons?

Why is the PF fighting against having this piece of archaic legislation amended? The Public Order Act is a piece of legislation developed in 1955 and it states “An Act to prohibit the wearing of uniforms in connection with political objects and the maintenance by private persons of associations of military or similar character; and to make further provision for the preservation of public order. [19th August, 1955].” That first sentence presupposes that it’s illegal to be in party regalia.

Why are we then maintaining such a law in a democratic country? This PF Parliament has been a disappointment. This crop of PF MPs must never come back to Parliament as we wait for history to judge them harshly.

Charles Kakoma
UPND Spokesperson

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Please please opposition debate with care. There’s nothing wrong with the POA unless it is abused perpetually. Imagine you are in power and UNZA students are rampaging and attacking innocent people what ACT are you going to use to protect us? In as much as we can copy democracy from the west, African States are usually weak and can be easily be influenced by external forces. So it is in our interest that our elected presidents should have a measured authority like POA to ensure functionality. I think Zambia cannot be compared to Uganda, Zim, Gabon, Kenya. The 50+1 vote was also a clause advocated by the opposition but surely do we really need a costly re-run in weak economy like ours? Its all right talking the fancy democracy stuff but we need to look at their functionality in our own…

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    • It is people like you ka chimbala who are very dull and just because you are tribal and region you will support an archaic law like POA which is being abused by your bululus to disadvantage Zambians from enjoying their freedoms. So Kakoma is very right and you are very wrong, ok

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    • @Mubanga Silas
      What’s wrong with people like Chimbala anyway? It seems you can’t get it that others have a right to hold an opinion which in the case of @Chimbala is perfectly formed. His argument is thoughtful and one that millions of Zambians hold. Trouble like UPND and other noisy opposition is that you just don’t understand democracy. You are the MINORITY, you have NOT won any election and that means you can’t write for Zambians except those in your party. The current gov’t and it’s supporters are the MAJORITY and can therefore express the sentiments of the current gov’t.

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    • Is the POA all about wearing party regalia as stated by Mr Kakoma?

      This piece of law is a necessary governance tool to maintain law and order….. Without it the country can easily be plunged into chaos.

      Even UPND if (by mistake or electral fraud) are elected will need it to govern the country. I am sure we all can live with the POA and peacefully even under UPND.
      So those of you in UPND, be careful what you wish for

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    • UPND cadres and leadership fail to inspire or convince me to vote for them!, they are too bitter and always sarcastic.
      they don’t do anything or support anything that is in the interest of this country but something that is in there interest for now.

      what is wrong with chimabala statement pakuti uyu umungulu (silas) umutuke?
      this guys are bitter and we will make sure that they are depressed enough by not voting for HHSC.

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  2. HH presidential adviser, Douglas Syakalima, who I remember from Marshlands University Village for insulting residents in the night every time he came back from a drinking spree when he was himself a resident there told us the Bweengwa violence was UPND vengeance against PF ( an eye for an eye). If UPND thinks they can take usurp the authority of the state to mete out punishment on alleged offenders, then we certainly need the Public Order Act. The UPND should learn to be consistent. On the one hand they want to tell us the Bweengwa violence was the PF violence against itself. On the other hand, they also want to tell us it was UPND vengeance against PF. Which is which???

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  3. Kakoma quotes one sentence in the Act which he claims is abhorrent,

    “…. the wearing of uniforms in connection with political objects and the maintenance by private persons of associations of military or similar character; and to make further provision for the preservation of public order are prohibited.” And he further says that “That first sentence presupposes that it’s illegal to be in party regalia”.

    But by the first sentence allows everyone is FREE to wear anything wherever and whenever they like!

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    • It’s only to cause trouble freely that they are after. These criminals and primitive people revert to fists and malicious conduct because they KNOW the Presidential office is out of reach to them!

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  4. # Mubanga Silas – for your own information I have no bululus in govt and in my statements there were no tribal connotations. Your take on the country affairs is probably blinded by your failure to see anything wrong in the team that you support. The moment you start thinking about Zambia first and not your affiliation, will be the moment your judgement will be astute. One Zambia – One nation

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  5. POA Is Good 4 Zambians And All Political Parties Bcoz Cadres Usally Go 2 Campaign While Drunk But Who Can B Convinced By A Drunkerd And Political Leader In Ruling And Opposition Parties Shuld Maintain Order Where They Are.UPND Ideas Are Quick Wil Injure Few Democracatic Gains Zambia Has Achieved And We Need Peace And Freedom.UPND Presidential Candidate Was In Chipata And Campaigned And It Is Up Pipo 2 Vote 4 Him Or Not.Southern Province Youths Shuld Chose Good 4 Them Than Looking On Their Tribal Men As Wise Pipo And Bravo 2 Parliament 2 Rejecting Evil Ideas Frm UPND And Pretence Wil Lead 2 Conflict If Follow The Party Point Of Veiw.We Need In Order In Homes,community And Political Parties 4 Peace 2 Continue.

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  6. What is good about freedom in unza cbu damaging govt properties and innocent tax payers cars. Citizens needs to be protected by law fro such barbaric behavior from criminals in the name of students. Imagine if there was no POA what these criminals in the name of students would have done by now.

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  7. It is not a sham it showed how unpopular HH is. UPND has pipo with criminal minds who may want to bring war when they lose elections. With this law in place we shall cage them nicely. lets get orgsnised and vote like Tongas

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    • @ peters

      can you please refresh my memory, who has been convicted (twice) by the High Court for embezzlement?

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    • @Short Memory can you refresh our memory on who got away with disguised embezzlement in the form of Privatising the Mines uh? Also who was caught and expelled for cheating in exam at UNZA uh?

      We can go on and on and on with these types of illogical arguments. The matter is closed.

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    • @peters you are right in fact Yesterday we had an article on Projects in Southern Province. UPND bloggers were very illogical in response to the fact that there are more projects in Southern Province in comparison to all other regions. In fact some wrote that it was a bribe by the gov’t. Honestly, I used to try to be fair to UPND and had started supporting them but they have lost my respect and support because of their violent, abusive, dictator like tendencies. This party is bad news to Zambia.

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  8. If you want to hold a fair opinion on the writer of this article and the party he represents, you need only look at the picture at the top of this article. This same self noisy UPND person is shown arguing with the Police! If people who want power can conduct themselves in such a manner publicly, what do you imagine they feel about the Police and public order?? mr Kakoma, sorry you are not Honourable in any sense of the title awarded those who represent the people of The a Democratic Republic Of Zambia. One has this sense that UPND feel they can Shove and Pummel their way to power. POA. Must stay, you demonstrate why. We know your interest in abolishing it is wishful thinking. You can’t be a parallel gov’ts of your own by force! We need POA to prevent mayhem caused by unbridled…

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    • You can’t be a parallel gov’ts of your own by force! We need POA to prevent mayhem caused by unbridled ambition. Every time an elect is near you cause so much violence. It’s risible to suggest we don’t need POA. The country can become ungovernable without POA.

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    • @Short Memory kindly refrain from calling me an imbecile and DO please post a proper debate on the subject matter in the article. My location is not the subject here. Nothing wrong with North Korea anyway, as Trump said ‘lil’ Kim, is a force to reckon with, he has all those NUKES at his age! All we’ve got is POA, Comrade!

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  9. Let us say the truth in choma people were waiting to greet HH but police started firing teagass at innocent citizens when asked POA! What rubbish of a Government we have EL said it should be amended PF MP’s say no. We should learn differentiate between a riot and a meeting our police can’t same with PF cadres.

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    • That’s your truth. The Police have power to break up any gathering if they judge it may cause violence regardless of your personal opinion.

      Again you are another UPNDer who does NOT Understand POA properly. It’s for the police to determine whether a gathering may cause problems. Let’s face it, all the gatherings recently were about HH trying to counter the Presidents office tour of duty around the country. HE President Lungu has a right to go around the country to check on progress of projects HH must wait until election campaigns start to freely roam the country to address large crowds.

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  10. The POA is not there to protect politicians and their lumpen cadres. The purpose of the POA is to promote order and security in public places. Noisy, threatening conduct and carrying dangerous weapons is allowed in public places. Churches, Football Association of Zambia, other activities of entertainment nature e.g concerts, cinema and those that attract crowds are all governed under the Public Order Act but you never hear any complaints from them because these organisations don’t have unruly members or fans that misbehave like cadres do. Everyone has the right to exercise their rights without disturbance from others. Its not just about the rights of politicians and their cadres but the rights of everyone, every citizen who wants to use the public place. Furthermore, gathering of groups…

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  11. You are wasting your breath and time, iwe Kakoma. PF is getting back into government, big time, to continue it’s programmes after elections!

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  12. You PF dullabs please understand the bill proposed by UPND was to amend the POA so that it is immune from being abused by the party in govt. what the people want is the POA that can be applied fairly. is this hard to understand?

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