Op-Ed: Police have criminalised UPND’s campaigns
By Andrew Sakala
Zambia Police have literally criminalised campaign events by opposition parties, especially the UPND.
Heavily armed paramilitary officers, driving armoured vehicles, some mounted with machine guns, are always trailing the opposition and are quick to block them from enjoying their civil and political rights.
Teargas and gunshots are being discharged at peaceful crowds and with this kind of careless conduct, it won’t be surprising if lives are lost.
The atmosphere created by the police makes it difficult and dangerous for journalists to cover opposition campaign events.
Instead of providing a safe environment, police are creating situations that puts life and limbs of the public including journalists at risk.
Truth be told, the Electoral Commission of Zambia needs to rein in the police and take charge of the Electoral process.
At the moment, the ECZ seems to have ceded their authority to the police.
The writer is the president of the defunct Press Association of Zambia (PAZA).