The appointment of the Inspector General of Police should be ratified by Parliament to promote professionalism in service delivery, says a law student at Zambia Open University Stanley Banda.
He said to leave the appointment to the President alone was a sure recipe of compromise since the IG’s loyalty would be to the appointing authority.
Mr. Banda was speaking during a one day Youth Dialogue Workshop on the Public Order Act which was hosted by the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Secretariat inLusaka.
He said Police were in the habit of abusing the POA in order to protect their jobs and maintain favours with the President.
“It’s like this law was made against the people opposing government, and the police are protected by the power that be. The IG is only safe as long as they are in good standing with the President,” he said.
Mr. Banda said the IG was at the mercy of the appointing officer, who is the President, as he had the power to hire and fire.
“The President can appoint the IG but Parliament should ratify the position which makes the police answerable to the House,” Mr. Banda said.
He explained that the police were directly involved with the public and should be answerable to the people through Parliament.
Speaking at the same gathering Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Legal Officer Francis Mwale said the republican constitution should be amended to address the Police Service as such instead of the current situation of a ‘police force’.
“Police operations are prescribed in the Constitution and if the law of the land describes the law enforcers as a ‘force’, it is no wonder there is brutality, they use the force in the constitution in their daily operations except that it is more against the opposition than government sympathisers,” Mr. Mwale added.
The youth dialogue included participating students from the Evelyn Hone College, National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA), the University of Lusaka (UNILAS) and the Zambia Open University.
Others included good governance organisations represented by Youth Governance Alliance (YOGA), Operation Young Vote (OYV) and the Youth for Transparency and Integrity (YTI)