A Historian at the University of Zambia has warned that the continued summoning of perceived opponents of the new dawn government has the potential to dent the name of the President and government in the sight of members of the public and the international community.
Dr. Eustone Chiputa has told Phoenix News that although most politicians being summoned may have cases to answer, unwarranted summoning on flimsy grounds becomes questionable.
He says police must always ensure that they do due diligence before summoning or detaining anyone as doing so without proper investigations may infringe on citizens’ rights.
Dr. Chiputa explains that if not addressed, most Zambians will feel the arresting of politicians is mere victimization by government.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Activist Brebner Changala has accused the Zambia Police of abusing archaic laws such as Defamation of the President and the Public Order Act to suppress the views of citizens.
Mr. Changala is of the view that government is struggling with the Public Order Act and the application of the law by police which is not in tandem with pronouncements made so far aimed at upholding human rights and quashing the intimidation and harassment experienced under the former regime.
He tells Phoenix News that the police remains affected by the way the previous regime operated hence the summoning of opposition leaders on flimsy charges and detention of some without charge.
Police have in the past two weeks summoned a number of opposition political figures with Patriotic Front Information and Publicity Chairperson Raphael Nakacinda charged with defamation of the president.