The Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA) is in the process of strengthening the legal framework under which it is operating in order for it to be more effective.
PPCA chairman James Mwanakatwe disclosed this in Kapiri Mposhi today during a sensitisation meeting with district heads of government department.
Mr. Mwanakatwe said PPCA in its current form is not effective in dealing with complaints from members of the public against police officers’ professional misconduct.
He said this is because the authority cannot punish erring police officers as its role is only to investigate complaints and make recommendations to the Inspector General of Police and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The PPCA chairman was reacting to concerns from some departmental heads over the authority’s inability to discipline police officers found wanting due to legal limitations.
He said his committee has embarked on a programme of instituting legal reforms that are aimed at giving PPCA legal authority to institute punitive action against erring police officers.
Mr. Mwanakatwe said it was expected that under the new legal framework, PPCA will also check on the conduct of other law enforcements agencies such as the Immigration, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
He said it was important that law enforcement officers discharge their duties within the confines of the law in order to inspire public confidence in the country’s governance system.
He said this can only be done when there was a body to provide checks and balances on law enforcement organs.
Mr. Mwanakatwe said under the reforms, it has also been proposed that the PPCA presence be spread to all provincial centres. Currently, the PPCA is only stationed in Lusaka.