Public Order Act should be abolished – Petitioner
Chipata, November 18 th, 2014, ZANIS —— A Chipata petitioner Mackson Nkhoma has submitted to the Legal and Justice Reforms Commission that the Public Order Act should be abolished.
His colleague Maumba Ngoma submitted that there is need to establish an electoral court that would expeditiously dispose off election related cases so that voters are not denied representation.
Mr Nkhoma,30, submitted before the Justice Fredrick Chomba led Commission sitting at Chipata Civic Center chambers today, that the Public Order Act was archaic and an impediment to the democratic dispensation of the country.
The Petitioner, who was representing the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) Eastern province branch, said the Act has been abused by law enforcement officers in the Zambia Police who have deliberately misapplied it.
However, another petitioner Never Pakapaka submitted that the Public Order Act was necessary and must be retained to maintain law and order in the society.
Mr Pakapaka, 68, of Plot 170 EDF in Kalongola Site and Service said the Public Order Act serves an important purpose but has been demonized and ridiculed in terms of interpretation.
Another petitioner, Maumba Ngoma submitted that there is need to establish an electoral court that would expeditiously dispose off election related cases so that voters are not denied representation.
Mr Ngoma who was representing the Anti Voter Apathy Project (AVAP) provincial office, said delayed disposal of electoral cases such as was the case in Malambo and Petauke Central constituencies has deprived the electorates of representation in parliament for over a year now.
"These constituencies have suffered in terms of representation, access to the constituency development fund (CDF ) and development", said Mr Ngoma.
Mr. Ngoma also submitted that local court justices must have a minimum qualification of a diploma to enable them execute their duties professionally.
But solicitor general Abraham Mwansa who is also the vice chairperson of the commission said local court justices administer customary law and are well versed with the issues hence do not need to possess a diploma.
The commission will hold public sittings in Chipata for two-days before proceeding to Katete and Petauke on Thursday and Friday.