Sheriffs being beaten for enforcing court judgments

Sheriffs being beaten for enforcing court judgments

By Dickson Jere

Something is amiss with our police. And the top command seem not bothered with their inability to protect citizens. Just few weeks ago, an officer from the Sheriffs of Zambia office was badly attacked by suspected cadres when he tried to enforce a Court Order – the Inspector General of police is much aware of this incident. And he is quiet!

You see, the Sheriffs of Zambia Office is part of the Judiciary and established under Chapter 37 of the Laws of Zambia to among other things “receive and execute” all Writs from our Courts. That is the enforcement arm of the judiciary, which works closely with Zambia Police. But now this important office is under systematic attack! And the police is not doing anything! Those who owe money or have invaded land hire gangs to chase the officers of the Sheriffs office when they go to enforce Court Orders. A very sad phenomenon! This may breed counter-gangs. People will opt to hire gangs to enforce Court Orders if the police continue to refuse to protect them.
I have a case in which the Sheriffs of Zambia has informed me that they cannot enforce my Court Order without police – who are not willing to accompany them because of the suspected cadres involved. This is lawlessness which cannot be condoned! I know of a widow who just lost her 60 acres of land in Lusaka West because police refused to accompany the Under-Sheriffs to execute the Writ of Possession after suspected cadres invaded her farmland. Those with money are opting to use unorthodox means by hiring Zambia National Service (ZNS) on the pretext of going clear their farm but in fact use them to chase squatters! Why should ZNS be doing police work?

Where is the Police? The IG Kanganja is a friend of mine. Very lovely gentleman and extremely accessible! But I think he is failing to show leadership! This is what I told him this morning in my note to him, which read but only in part as follows: “this is very dangerous path as our country can slide into lawlessness. Kindly be on top of this issue. I do not think H.E President Edgar Lungu can condone cadres threatening sheriffs of Zambia officers carrying out official duties…”. In short, I was saying my IG friend is failing the nation!

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