THE United States government says corruption in Zambia occurs at all levels and results in an ineffective legal and justice system. And the US says the Zambia Police Service is solely a reactive force and demonstrates rather poor proactive law enforcement techniques or initiative to deter or investigate crime.
According to a posting on the US Embassy website, the US Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) in the Department of State under the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, states that most crimes go unreported and/or are not investigated.
“Corruption occurs at all levels, which results in an ineffective legal and justice system. Low pay and morale create an environment in which even bribes of a few dollars can make allegations disappear,” the OSAC noted.
The United States further advised its citizens not to pay bribes, comply with requests for a gift, or pay on-the-spot fines.
“If an officer persists, comply with instructions, identify yourself as a US citizen, obtain the officer’s name and badge number, and politely ask to speak with a supervisor and/or request to be taken to police headquarters for further processing,” the US advised its citizens.
The United States government adds that the police officers were required to notify the Embassy when an American citizen had been arrested.
“However, they consistently fail to do so. If arrested, be certain to assert this right and demand to speak with a representative from the US Embassy by calling +260 (0) 211-357-000, +260-966-877-805, or if after normal business hours +260 (0) 966-864-030,” the US added.
It further indicated that the Zambia Police had a poor record of solving serious crimes.
“Police response times can be long, if at all. Lack of adequate transportation is often cited as an excuse for slow response. Most crimes go unreported and/or are not investigated…and few criminals are ever brought to trial. Inadequate legislation results in the lack of prosecution or large numbers of acquittals,” added the US government.