Simbyakula, UPND Leaders Meet

HOME Affairs Minister, Ngosa Simbyakula, and other ministry officials yesterday held a closed door meeting with the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leadership to discuss the application of the Public Order Act (PoA) by the police.

The Ministry of Home Affairs was represented Dr Simbyakula, who chaired the meeting, the Deputy Minister, Stephen Kampyongo and the Permanent Secretary Peter Mwaba.

Also present was the Deputy Permanent Secretary Willies Mangimela and Home Affairs head of public relations, Moses Suwali.

The UPND delegation comprised vice president politics, Canisius Banda, general secretary Winstone Chibwe, chairman of information and publicity Charles Kakoma and his counterpart Edwin Lifwekelo.

Also in the delegation was Martha Mushipe, the party lawyer and chairman international relations, Mulondwe Muzungu.

According to a joint Press statement released yesterday, during the meeting, the UPND, through Mr Banda brought out concerns as raised in a letter dated June 11, 2014, written to Dr Simbyakula which included alleged biased application of the PoA by the police, police brutality, issues to do with land encroachment and grabbing of land.

Mr Banda also made an appeal to the Minister on the letter written by the Grand Coalition on the Constitution (Presidents of Political Parties as well as stakeholders) to Republican President Michael Sata in which stakeholders requested for an indaba.

Also prominent in the meeting was the need to regulate the presence of party cadres and police presence at court premises to avoid anarchy as witnessed in the past.

Responding to concerns, Dr Simbyakula assured the delegation that the ministry would take the issues raised seriously to find long lasting solutions.

On the application of the Public Order Act, the Minister aised the UPND leadership on the need to engage the police as much as possible so as to come up with alternatives in case they were denied notification.

He further aised the meeting that his doors were open for dialogue as and when they faced challenges with notification to the POA.

The minister further stated that there was room to amend the PoA if the stakeholders felt the need to do so as the order was ‘not cast in stone’.

On the concern regarding alleged police brutality, Dr Simbyakula said the Government was in the process of establishing a school for re-orientation of police officers so that they were in conformity with the provisions of the PoA.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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