????????For once Kapyongo says something sensible
Says not even he as Minister of Home Affairs, would tell someone to go and whip that one, go and arrest that one.
Home Affairs minister Steven Kampyongo has condemned the manner in which police officers dispersed some Mkushi Bread of Life congregants recently.
Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo has suffered widespread criticism for ordering police to whip people found abrogating Presidential COVID-19 prevention measures. Lusambo also declared that he’d personally participate in whipping bar patrons.
But speaking when he featured on 5FM’s Special Interview, Tuesday, Kampyongo said officers were trained to make a fair judgement on how to enforce laws during the course of their work.
He said officers were only supposed to apply minimum force where necessary and proportional to the resistance.
“A trained officer must be able to make a fair judgement as they engage the members of the public. The minimum force which can be applied must be proportional to the resistance that a police officer is facing on the ground.
What we saying is that as the police are carrying out their duties, depending on the situation, they can engage members of the public, only when it becomes necessary that they can revert to use some amount of minimum force,” Kampyongo said.
“We are also saying that for any operation that you undertake, you know the requirement. When there’s an operation order, you know who gives instructions. Not even me as Minister of Home Affairs would tell someone to say go and whip that one, go and arrest that one. It doesn’t work like that. Police officers know the way instructions are given to them. Even when to invoke the minimum force, it must be lawful instructions from the hierarchy of command.”
And Kampyongo urged Police officers to ensure that they conducted themselves professionally and strike a balance between observing people’s liberties and enforcing the law.
“Like the Inspector General of Police stated, we are encouraging our officers to ensure that they conduct themselves professionally and ensure that they strike a balance between observing people’s liberties and enforcing the law. Even where they are applying the minimum force, that minimum force must be proportionate to the resistance.
I must take this opportunity to express our regret over the incidence that we might have seen circulating on social media where members of the Bread of Life International Church in Mkushi had a challenge with our police officers. That is what we can say, not acceptable. Because the way you engage a person who is a drunkard defiant should not be the same way (you engage) people that you have found at a church. You can use your judgement in terms of engagement,” Kampyongo said.