Caritas Solwezi Director, Fr. Noel Haaninga says the current Public Order Act (PAO) is not an entirely bad document.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in Solwezi yesterday, Fr. Haaninga said the biggest problem has been the implementation of the Public Order Act by the police.
Fr. Haaninga said from his observations the people that are tasked to safe guard and implement the Public Order Act are the ones that create problems.
“The problem I think for me from my little analysis is not so much about the Public Order Act…as it is now is not an entirely bad document…as it is now there are a lot of good things that are there. The biggest problem has been the implementation of the Public Order Act,” he said.
Fr. Haaninga said even if changes are made to the current Public Order Act as long as the police remain with little knowledge on how to implement it there will always be problems.
He said the problem is that the people that are tasked to safeguard and implement the Public Order Act for the benefit of the Zambian People have little understanding of the spirit behind the Public Order Act or deliberately decide ignore to appropriately implement it.
Fr. Haaninga said previously the police abused the Public Order Act to the extent of injuring the same people they were supposed to protect.
“In the previous regime the police were too heavy handed…were too strong in the implementation of the Public Order Act so much so that what they were supposed to protect actually was injured and affected,” he said.
Fr. Haaninga said for him what is supposed to be looked at in the Public Order Act reform is its implementation by the police.
He therefore, appealed to Zambians to take part in the reform by making submissions and not to leave the reform process to the politicians.