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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Time to Repeal The Public Order Act

Feature Politics Time to Repeal The Public Order Act


By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

The decision to summon to Police, Opposition leaders that held a press briefing at Southern Sun Hotel on Monday, brings into sharp focus the debate that must foster outstanding changes regarding the Public Order Act.

Patriots for Economic Progress( PEP), Mr. Sean Tembo has announced that he has received a call-out to report to the Police Service Headquarters on Tuesday 25th January 2022 for investigations.

He says this is in apparent relation to a press conference held at Southern Sun Hotel by seven Opposition leaders, to raise serious concerns over public and governance issues.

The leaders included Harry Kalaba of the Democratic Party, New Heritage Party leader, Chishala Kateka, People’s Alliance for Change (APC) Andyford Banda, National Democratic Congress leader, Saboi Imboela, Economic Freedom Fighters leader, Kasonde Mwenda and United for Better Zambia leader, Hector Soondo.

The Public Order Act has been challenged regularly and culminated in the Christine Mulundika case in 1996.(CHRISTINE MULUNDIKA AND 7 OTHERS v THE PEOPLE (1995) S.J.).

In the Mulundika Case, the appellant challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Public Order Act Cap 104, especially section 5(4). The challenge followed on the fundamental freedoms and rights guaranteed by Article 20 and 21 of the Republican Constitution.

In its Judgement, the Supreme Court quashed the said provisions and held that sub-section 4 of section 5 the Public Order Act, CAP 104, contravened Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution.

For this reason, the said provisions were declared null and void, and invalid for their unconstitutionality.

But the Government quickly drafted a fresh law circumventing the judgment and literally reinstated the quashed provisions.

However, the provisions that removed the need to obtain a permit were revised to petitioners informing the Police about a procession through a seven days’ Notice.
There is still great misunderstanding on the application of the law as the Police always assume that the Notice lodged in amounts to an application for a Permit.

The Police has regularly denied parties and citizens to hold public processions, demonstration, rallies or public events citing a long list of irrational excuses including the lack of man-power or public insecurity or the presence of the President or Vice President in an area.

Clearly, it is time to repeal this obnoxious and archaic colonial law that governments after government have used and abused for their own preservation. The Public Order Act infringes on various constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms such as the rights to assemble, expression, and movement.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Emmanuel faka matako pansi, Bally has more pressing things to sort out. POA is far below in the pecking order

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  2. Great write up Ambassador. This call has been and will always be valid.
    However, like you’re urging the current government to do so, these were the calls people made to your government but you shamelessly defended this bad law.
    You should have picked good tenets of democracy and good laws over your loyalty to an individual.
    The time is now to push more to repel this law

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  3. Mwamba you must be ashamed to be calling for this. Yes its a bad law and this is what citizens have always said. You kept it so that you could use it against HH. Now is your time to enjoy it on the other side. Yes the government should repeal it but first you need to taste it fully

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  4. These jokers called our leaders only come to their senses after being booted out of government, the way Emmanuel Mwamba has suddenly realized that we need to repeal the public order act. You can not blame the Police for summoning the leaders who held an illegal gathering yesterday, the Police are just enforcing the law in its currently form and UPND should not even be blamed, it is not a UPND issue. It is for parliament to go and change the law

  5. PF has members in parliament, they can move the motion to repeal this act, it is not a UPND affair. Police are just doing their work, and you opposition leaders must notify the Police before meeting, don’t test the Police,

  6. It is not going anywhere, anytime soon bwana. If really it needed repeal , you guys wud ve done it during your time in office. And there is no excuse, u had the whole 10 yrs esp u ka Emmanuel-apowali the entire 10yrs but u mentioned nothing whatsoever of such.

  7. Mwamba you are an *****. When PF was ruling party you never saw anything wrong with POA, but now that you are in opposition you see the wrong. You are the kind of *****s we don’t need in our political system. Good for nothing.

  8. I feel like I am going to V O M I T !
    These people like Emmanuel Mwamba are what make people to dislike politicians. When he was getting thousands of dollars per month and per diems all in dollars for 6 years, he never, not even once preferred a paper about the POA which had never been more abused by any President than under Lungu and Kanganja! Now you are talking after being unemployed! Ata! Tiye uko! Mamina mumphuno.

  9. @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa,
    I read your last comments, but since the thread is closed, I will try to respond in this new thread as they are related.
    You raised some great points from comments and will try to address them.
    =======
    1] And a judge had already ruled on this long time ago.
    ==> Mr. Mwamba has given the response, and I quote “For this reason, the said provisions were declared null and void, and invalid for their unconstitutionality. But the Government quickly drafted a fresh law circumventing the judgment and literally reinstated the quashed provisions.”end quote.
    So this eliminates the argument that the current POA is Null & Void. PF circumvented, and now the same PF is crying foul.

  10. @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa,
    2] It starts with “notification” and suddenly jumps to “permit”
    ==> My friend, consider yourself as one of the few intelligent persons, you spotted something that the lawmakers were not able to distinguish the difference between “notification” and “permit”, the excerpts were directly taken from the POA. This is where we both agree, that these laws need to be repealed, until then they are valid.
    3] Besides the ‘meeting’ you have quoted is too wide and it effectively apply to churches; parliament; schools; universities; courts; etc. Do they all get permits…?
    ==>The ‘meeting’ is too wide, yes, but the secret is in this and I quote”.. purpose of the discussion of matters of public interest ….”, by matters of public interest, this basically means…

  11. @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa,

    3] Besides the ‘meeting’ you have quoted is too wide and it effectively apply to churches; parliament; schools; universities; courts; etc. Do they all get permits…?
    ==>The ‘meeting’ is too wide, yes, but the secret is in this and I quote”.. purpose of the discussion of matters of public interest ….”, by matters of public interest, this basically means political views. So the parliament, courts, school…that you quoted, do not assemble to discuss “matters of public interest”, therefore, don’t qualify. I quess you get my point.

  12. @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa,
    4] As for parliament, you know too well that the opposition have no chance of enacting any laws in Zambia.
    ==>Change of the law is bi-partisan, just as was Bill10. They (PF) can initiate, and we will force UPND to support the changes. In fact, since UPND has this as a promise, I don’t see anyway, they can NOT support the motion. So, don’t let PF give those excuses
    5] Why are you putting the onus on the opposition, instead of the government
    ==> We are NOT putting the onus on the opposition, instead we are putting the onus on the MPs ( both PF & UPND). It’s NOT right to put the onus on Hakainde Hichilema, he sets the vision, and the legislation wing should pick that up.

  13. @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa,

    6] 2nd there’s no police decision to do with politics in Zambia that has no blessing from the govt at minister or presidential level.
    ==> This is WHAT you and ME should be fighting against, but NOT promoting. This should NOT be the case, there is simply a lack of trust, EVERYTHING is suspect in Zambia. This is the moral decay we are experiencing as a society. WHAT is NORMAL is now ABNORMAL and WHAT IS ABNORMAL is considered NORMAL. Much of this decay is being caused by some liars in politics. We need to be careful what we support.

  14. @Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa,
    7] Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)
    ==> My friend, we want to shorten your NAME to just Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa. Meaning, we need clarity on what happened to those scandals listed in your name. And NOT falling prey to politicians who are seeking popularity. If they DONT understand the laws, what gives you confidence they will be good leaders if voted in? I have no party affiliation, and I look upon Zambian politics as an observer.

  15. The thing these Government needs to also do is remove all PF members in these Embassies.
    When you have a high commissioner like Canada always home and doesn’t work. The worst unfriendly ppl in North America.
    Get ride of them and Washington please. They treat Zambians like slaves.
    And they have so much money.

  16. Since Lungu lost, Mwamba’s strategy is to make as much noise as possible. So as to maintain visibility in case an opportunity arises. Time to repeal the public order act happened a long time ago. His PF spent 10 years with the act and all of them didn’t think it was time to repeal the act.
    So now he is just looking for some attention.

  17. @general Kanene, thanks for taking the time to reply to my comments in the other thread… very detailed and very much appreciated.
    I do agree with most of what you have written here. Few points:
    => You threw me away when you said only politicians discuss matters of public interest and that parliament, courts, churches, schools, etc don’t. Really are you serious mate? Somehow I knew you were going to pull that one haha. Please share sources of your definition of ‘public interest’.
    => The court case Mwambwa cites is actually much older… there is a more recent court ruling on this (will try to find it for you).
    => Yes finally I have listened to you mate and I have shortened my alias. I wanted to highlight the rampant corruption scandals of PF so that the UPND could start…

  18. …I wanted to highlight the rampant corruption scandals of PF so that the UPND could start prosecuting some of them. 🙂

  19. As for this Mwamba guy, yes I agree with him but he has no moral ground to make this call. Man is discredited as he is obe of the worst hypocrites to ever walk the corridors of Zambian politics. Not sure how he could say this with a straight face without being remorseful or apologising to the people of Zambia. He just needs to shut the funk down and go away into oblivion.

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