Banning of political rallies by Police illegal

The statement by deputy inspector general of police Dr Solomon Jere on banning political parties with regards to holding public rallies is an affront to democracy and is not backed by any law says Nason Msoni.

Mr Msoni said it is lawlessness for police for whatever subjective motive or reason to decide banning political parties from canvassing and campaigning for support for their respective candidates.

He said that violence is instigated, meditated and sponsored before it even rears its ugly head.

The MMD Member advised Dr Jere that for him to imagine that violence ensues from political parties holding rallies was misplaced policing as usual.

“Violence is always part of the plan because some leaders are well known for that and that is the reason why the cadres take after them because it the order of the day for them but this does not give Dr Jere powers to ban political.

“The electoral code of conduct allows for campaigns to go on until 48 hours before the actual voting day and we don’t know which law Dr Jere is using to pass decree.

“Police officers should stop becoming political tools and work professionally. It is such statements that cause tension because certain people feel they were being undermined than the other,” he said.

Mr Msoni the former presidential aspiring candidate for the MMD noted that whether a rally or no rally violence would always manifest because elements that sense electoral defeat wanted to use violence as a tool to cow voters into submission.

He advised Police to avoid taking positions especially with the party in power as this leaves victims and recipients of violence with no choice but ultimately resolve to defend themselves in the face of aggression by the PF cadres.

The police should instead encourage dialogue among political stakeholders with the help and involvement of the electoral commission.

The deputy police IG had announced the ban of political rallies due to violence in Livingstone but the Electoral Commission of Zambia said that Dr Jere had no mandate to ban rallies as there was time stipulated by the commission when campaigns should end.