Police commended for banning protests

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The Southern African Centre for
Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) and the Foundation for
Democratic Process (FODEP) have commended the Zambia Police Service
for banning protects during the mourning period for late President
Michael Sata.

SACCORD executive director Boniface Cheembe said the move to ban
unnecessary protests and demonstrations was in the best interest of
the nation which he said was bigger than any one individual.

Mr. Cheembe said the untimely death of President Sata deserves to be
observed with due diligence of respect, calm, unity and peace.

He said with respect to the Zambian and African culture of respecting
the dead, there was need for the country to put in place measures that
will ensure that the late President is mourned with a heightened sense
of respect, unity, peace, honour and integrity.

Mr. Cheembe said it is equally important that the political leadership
within the ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF) that is charged with
the responsibility of ensuring smooth and peaceful transition acts and
behaves in an exemplary manner.

He urged leaders in the PF to desist from engaging into any kind of
politicking during the mourning period, saying this may be destructive
not only to the ruling party but the nation at large.

He said the top leadership of the PF has the responsibility to engage
in extensive consultations and exercise tolerance for them to be able
to work with everyone, even people they may not like or agree with in
terms of political orientations or views just like the late President

Mr. Cheembe said the move to ban protests can only be effective if the
top leadership within the PF equally help the nation by burying their
political differences and work together in the interest of the nation.

He further stated that members of the public should demand for
accountability and transparency from political leaders by way of
calling for politics of ideas which was the basis upon which solutions
are found to problems facing the people.

Mr. Cheembe also urged the Zambia Police Service to ensure they remain
objective, professional and impartial in the discharge of their
mandate especially during the mourning period.

And FODEP executive director McDonald Chipenzi urged the police to be
categorical on the types of protests that it has banned.

Mr. Chipenzi said people have a democratic right to carry out protests
or demonstrations on matters of national interest hence the need for
the police to be clear on this matter to avoid getting people
entangled in things they do not understand.
He also called on the police to ensure that peace prevails in the
country by avoiding the use of forceful language which may be
intimidating but should strive to use service language that is
educative and correctional.

Meanwhile, the FODEP executive director has congratulated and
commended opposition political parties and members of the public for
the discipline, maturity and morality shown during the mourning period
for late President Sata.

He said for the first time in the history of Zambia, the opposition
parties have behaved exceptionally well during such a period by not
trying to gain political capital out of such an event.

Mr. Chipenzi said the ruling party needs to follow suit and give
President Sata a befitting send off.