Review of Public Order Act Expected This Year
Government has revealed that the Public Order Act (POA) bill will be submitted to cabinet for approval in the first quarter of this year, before it is tabled in parliament.
Minister of Justice Given Lubinda has indicated that none of the submissions received so far, call for repealing of the act, but however suggest that the act be amended.
Mr Lubinda explained that after the bill is approved by cabinet office, it will be published before being presented in the next sitting of parliament for further stakeholder consultations.
Speaking when he received a Zambia Police Service report on POA in Lusaka today, Mr Lubinda added that after the inputs from parliament and the public, the ministry will hold a validation symposium, were only organisations and individuals that have made submissions will be allowed to attend.
And Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo observed that over the years, POA has been a subject of public debate, court actions and amendments.
Mr Kampyongo added that people have argued that the act in its current form goes against the spirit of democracy, which is based on respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms.
He noted that to this effect, government has requested stakeholders and interest groups to make submissions on the review of the POA to the Ministry of Justice.