CHAPTER One Foundation executive director Linda Kasonde has condemned the shooting of a Nakonde resident believed to be involved in a riot against the lockdown in that area.
Last Wednesday, police in Muchinga Province arrested nine people believed to have been involved in riots including a person, who had been shot in both legs and was receiving medical treatment at Nakonde Urban Clinic.
But in response to a press query, Kasonde said the shooting of the unarmed individual was unlawful and any police officer found wanting should face the full wrath of the law.
“Chapter One Foundation seeks to promote human rights and the rule of law in Zambia. Under Article 11 of the Constitution, everybody has the right to ‘life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law.’ Indeed, the Inspector-General of Police, through the police spokesperson, issued a press statement in April, 2020, cautioning police officers not to use excessive force in trying to maintain law and order during the COVID-19 pandemic. He further stated that those police officers that did not perform their duties within the confines of the law would be dealt with as provided by the law,” stated Kasonde.
“Section 17 of the Penal Code, to which all citizens, including police officers are subject, states that police officers may only use force ‘no more than is necessary to repel an unlawful attack.’ That means that the use of force must be proportionate to the attack. If the people that were protesting in Nakonde against the COVID-19 restrictions placed on them were unarmed, it would be extremely difficult to justify the use of live ammunition against an unarmed group of people. In that event, shooting an unarmed individual would not appear to be a lawful and proportionate response and any police officer found wanting must face the full wrath of the law.”