MPs should also notify police before holding meetings – Minister

Home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo says all members of parliament should observe the provisions of the law whenever they are conducting their duties in their various constituencies.

Kampyongo was speaking in parliament on Tuesday when he made a clarifying statement in response to a point of order which was raised by Monze central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu who wanted to know why police officers had harassed his Kabwe central PF counterpart Tutwa Ngulube in his line of duty.

Kampyongo said Ngulube was barred from holding a meeting at Katondo clinic in Kabwe because he changed the venue without notifying police.

“Sir, with regard to the incident in question in Kabwe, honorable Tutwa Ngulube, member of parliament for Kabwe central had notified the Zambia Police Service in Kabwe that he was going to hold a meeting at Katondo Clinic. The meeting did not however take place and instead the honorable member of parliament decided to convene a meeting at Kafulamase within Kabwe central constituency without fresh notification to the Zambia police. Sir, Section 5 of the Public Order Act provides guidelines and procedures for holding public assemblies, demonstrations or processions while section 54 provides that ‘any person intending to assemble or convene a public meeting, procession or demonstration shall notify the Zambia police in writing of such intent seven days before the meeting’,” Kampyongo said.

He said Ngulube should have notified police of the change in venue especially that the Threatened State of Emergency was still in effect.

“Sir, members of the August house and the public at large know that we are currently or we have been in a state of threatened public emergency which measures were approved by this August house and this was after the President of this Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu had evoked Article 31 of the Republican Constitution on the 5th July 2017. In addition a Statutory Instrument number 55 of 2017 was also issued to provide guidelines and regulations governing the state of threatened emergency,” Kampyongo said.

“Sir, the incidence in question, the honorable member of parliament of course did not put in a fresh notification as he has always done when he is having his meetings in his constituency. Mr Speaker, members of Parliament and the public at large should by all means comply with the provisions of the law at all times. With the threatened state of emergency in place, all public meetings and processions are subject to the public security regulations brought into force by the invocation of Article 31 of the constitution and indeed the Public Order Act . We are all therefore expected to operate within the confines of the law as we go about our daily business.”

Kampyongo said under the current circumstances, parliamentarians and the public at large should observe the provisions of the preservation of the public security reservations of 2017 and the Public Order Act chapter 113 of the laws of Zambia.

“Sir, the Zambia police Service shall continue to uphold and enforce the law firmly but fairly without fear or favour. Mr Speaker, as honorable members in their constituencies, they should do so equally within the provisions of the law. In the current circumstances, that means observing the provisions of the preservation of the public security reservations of 2017 and the public order act chapter 113 of the laws of Zambia. Mr speaker, I was want to make it clear to the House that the honorable member of parliament for Kabwe central has been on record of working very well with the Zambia police in Kabwe,” said Kampyongo.

         

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