Zambia: police and people attacking and gunning each other down will not reduce violence but worsen it

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Yesterday, during a UPND protest,

police fired live bullets on crowds

of protesting cadres. It is reported

that UPND ignored the directive by

the Police for the party to put off

their rally and come up with new

dates following ‘security concerns’.

It is further reported that the party

defied the directive and carried out

an unlawful procession in unruly

manner, harassing motorists and

Traffic Police along the way. In the

process, the Police fired live

bullets at cadres hitting two of

them, one tragically killed.

We as the Green Party are

saddened by the use of excessive

force by the Police especially that

no lethal weapon was recovered

from the protesters to justify the

use of live bullets. We believe that

such acts by Police on individuals

who were not directly involved in

threatening the life of the shooters

are a hindrance to peaceful free

and fair elections.

Whilst we do not support any

party’s dependency upon a group

of party cadres who use violent

coercion to achieve an end, we

also strongly abhor Police violence

as a means of deterrence. We

believe that such random acts of

Police violence will only serve to

undo what little progress those of

us calling for peaceful elections

have accomplished. If anything,

such acts will only serve to reverse

it, and prevent any future progress.

The police claim they were

‘security concerns’. Meanwhile no

details of the ‘security concerns’

have been shared with the public

so that they are be subjected to

scrutiny for their authenticity. It is

therefore possible that the so

called ‘security concerns’ were a

hoax or sham excuse to deny

UPND an opportunity to hold a

rally or rallies.

The Police in Zambia uphold a

system of immoral laws, especially

the Public Order Act, which many a

time has led to undue harassment,

maiming and even death of

innocent people─ as was the case

yesterday. From what transpired

yesterday, it is now clear that POA

is actually an anathema to free

and fair elections and police


We therefore challenge the

Inspector General of Police to make

public the so called ‘security

concerns’ which motivated him to

direct cancellation of the UPND

rallies. Without revealing such

details, he will be complicit in

creating the hellish police State.

During an election period, a hellish

police can start a war in which the

innocent people become the enemy

of the State. The police will not be

doing justice to the public to hide

the nature of the so called

‘security concern’.

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