MISA – Zambia Chapter expresses concern over enforcement of public order Act
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia would like to express concerns over the enforcement of the Public Order Act by the Zambia Police Service in the country.
The organisation is saddened that the Zambia Police Service is using a draconian piece of legislation to oppress the right of citizens to freedom of association, an essential component of freedom of expression and the right to information in Zambia. These rights are indispensible in a multiparty democratic society like Zambia because they facilitate the citizens’ rights to participate in the governance of their country.
It is sad that Zambia continues to be governed by archaic pieces of legislation whose objective is to deny citizens’ rights and freedoms to participate freely in the governance of their country.
While we are aware that this freedom is not absolute, its application is undermining Zambia’s democratic gains. Further it is negating gains around transparency, accountability and good governance which Zambians fought for in 1991.
Avram Noam Chomsky, an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer once said “if we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”
We join our colleagues in civil society organisation in calling for the repeal of the Public Order Act in Zambia.
Acting Chairperson- MISA Zambia