Legal and Justice Reforms Commission advised to take complaints against police seriously

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—Kalomo residents have petitioned the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission to take serious consideration of the complaints raised against operations of the Zambia Police force. 

Meanwhile, proceedings of the Commission’s public hearing were briefly disrupted this afternoon after a petitioner sought protection when he was nearly roughed up by unknown people outside the conference room where the meeting was being held. 

The rude group accosted Freddie Mapesho, 50, who made a submission concerning an issue involving the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) earlier in the morning.

The angry mob charged towards the petitioner at the entrance of the conference room while proceedings were in session forcing the chairperson to assure him that police protection would be arranged for him while he was asked to remain inside for his own safety. 

Some Commissioners and members of the Secretariat rushed outside to check what was happening while others sought police protection for the petitioner who was later escorted outside by a Ministry of Justice officer. 

Earlier, Mr Mapesho submitted that police officers should change their work attitude towards the community. 

Mr Mapesho recommended that the training programme for police officers should be revised because currently that appeared to be above the law as they were not considerate towards the needs of the community. 

And 31-year-old Kelvin Mupemo submitted that incidences of human rights abuses in the country were rife especially among police officers. 

Mr Mupemo recommended that the training programme for police officers should be decentralized to the district level as their current conduct was indicative that their training courses should be revised to respond to the needs and aspirations of the people. 

"There are many compounding reasons for the poor performance exhibited by the Zambia Police officers which could be improved by giving them good conditions of service," said Mr Mupemo.