——The Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA) says it wants to inculcate a spirit where members of the general public accommodate police officers and are free to share the necessary vital information with police officers.
PPCA Commissioner, Simasiku Kalumiana, says gone are the days when people feared police officers instead of embracing and appreciating their duties since the police provides a service to members of the public.
Mr Kalumiana observed that a health worker goes into a community is welcomed and people are free to provide the necessary information to that particular health worker hence similarly police officer should also be appreciated in community as opposed to abandoning or running away from the police officer.
Mr. Kalumiana said this in Kasempa district in North Western province during a public hearing held at the Kasempa District administration Conference room.
He appealed to the heads of Government departments to help the Authority in sensitizing other people in remote areas of Kasempa so that more complaints could be submitted to the authority in ensuring that police officers work professionally and were held accountable to the people they serve as opposed to denying the people fair hearing.
During the meeting, the participants blamed some actions meted out by some police officers who abuse their powers.
The PPCA was established in 1999 under an Act of Parliament and provides a quasi-judicial function of receiving complainants advanced from people against the conduct of some police officers who misconduct themselves on duty.
The PPCA is in North-western province to conduct a series of public hearings and get submissions from police officers and members of the public. It is receiving various complaints such as unlawful detention, police brutality and assault among others.
Mr Kalumiana, sitting with PPCA Chairman, James Mwanakatwe, PPCA Vice Chairperson, Emmanuel Chileshe and two other Commissioners, said the Authority is now visiting the ten provinces sensitizing people about its works .
PPCA Chairman, James Mwanakatwe, challenged the police officers to be impartial and transparent in the execution of their duties.
Mr Mwanakatwe also appealed to members of the general public to utilize the services of the Authority so that there is a 50 – 50 win with both parties of the complaint and the respondent fully satisfied.
Earlier, during a courtesy call by PPCA Chairman, James Mwanakatwe and his entourage at the District Administration, Kasempa District Administrative Officer, Mercy Kambita, welcomed the PPCA in the district, saying the visit was an eye opener.
Ms Kambita said people in Kasempa district were not aware about the Authority and its functions.