18th March, 2014
The Inspector General of Police
RE: MISAPPLICATION OF THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT BY YOURSELVES
We write to constructively engage you on the above captioned subject matter.
We note with dismay that ever since the advent of the Patriotic Front (P.F.) into government, the Police Service under your command has acted with impunity to enforce imaginary sections of the Public Order Act.
We wish to put it on record that enforcing laws that are not written in our statute books is unconstitutional and a gross violation of civil liberties. It is appalling that the Police have become habitual law breakers and anarchist under your command. This is unacceptable and criminal.
Consider the following:-
1 The case of Christine Mulundika and others, determined by our courts made it clear that citizens do not require permission from the Police but merely need to notify the Police. The Police under your command has denied us our rights to assemble and protest on the pretext that we are not permitted. Clearly, your Police are enforcing unwritten law.
2 There is nowhere in the Public Order Act where citizens are required to state the names of the Speakers before they hold their events. Your command under the instruction of Dr. Solomon Jere have made it mandatory that we state the names of the Speakers when notifying the Police. This again is not in our statutes. It is clearly abuse of Police authority.
3 There is no law written in our statutes that stops political parties from carrying out party organisation of party structures in areas where by- elections are pending. Again here what you are enforcing is a figment of your imagination and not the law.
4 There is nowhere in the statute books where the Police are given powers to be consultants and/or strategists to political parties. During the Livingstone by-elections, Dr. Solomon Jere cancelled our rally and advised that we instead resort to door to door campaigns. Recently in Eastern Province your Commissioner, Grace Chipalila stopped our meetings by stating that we do not need to use rallies to engage with our members. Clearly, your Police Officers need re-training as they are suffering from gross ignorance. Kindly quote the specific sections your officers are using to enforce this kind of dictatorship.
In short, the Police under your command has embarked on a journey to mutilate citizens’ liberties. The Police have become architects of anarchy and are now dispensers of violence.
The Police are now acting as a unit of the Patriotic Front (PF) and are rewarding PF with the loyalty it craves absent of any discernable progress on key human rights issues.
The Police through Charity Katanga have even gone further to declare war against the United Party for National Development (UPND).
It is in view of the foregoing, that UPND will engage you in this Jihad that you have declared by ensuring that our Party members are 24/7 ready to defend themselves againgst Police tyranny.
Kuchunga Edwin Simusamba
UPND DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL