RAINBOW Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says the Public Order Act will still remain a controversial law even if the UPND government tries to amend it.
In an interview, Thursday, Kabimba said many African governments, including Zambia, preached democracy during the day and did something else at night.
He said improving on provisions of the Public Order Act and bringing it within the context of democracy was as good as shooting oneself in the foot.
“If one improves on provisions of the Public Order Act and brings it within the context of democracy as it is defined, it is as good as shooting yourself in the foot. Many African governments and that applies to governments in Zambia, have preached democracy during the day and do something else at night. I don’t think that the so-called new dawn government shall be an exception to that general rule. I don’t expect much, even if they tried to, it will be extremely controversial. But I don’t expect much. It is easier said than done and I’m talking from and history is witness to trend,” Kabimba said.
He said the UPND government might have promised to amend the act, but he did not see any political will to do so.
“They made a promise that they are going to review the Public Order Act, but you also have to realize that this so-called new dawn government is a government of human beings of flesh and blood, like other governments before. It’s not a government of saints and angels. And the elephant in the room for all the past governments has been that of political will to review the Public Order Act. You also have to remember historically that even the current Public Order Act, some of the provisions that are there that seem to be an improvement on the colonial inherited Public Order Act, those provisions did not come into being of politicians or because of the political will of any political party,” said Kabimba.
“This actually arose out of a Supreme Court judgement. If you look at the Mulundika case, the Christine Mulundika case and others, it is that case that gave rise to the improvement of the Public Order Act in the manner in which it was inherited from the colonial masters to the president. So no political parties can take credit regarding the improvement or lack of the Public Order Act. So I’m extremely circumspect myself, I am extremely reluctant to expressly say that I see political will in the so-called new dawn government. I don’t see it.”