PRESS RELEASE BY THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA
MILITARY BRUTALITY AGAINST PRIVATE CITIZENS IS A BREACH OF RULE OF LAW AND CONSTITUTIONALISM
(FOR IMMEDIATE CIRCULATION TO MEDIA HOUSES)
The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is appalled at videos showing military personnel assaulting unidentified youths for purportedly insulting the President of the Republic of Zambia. Military weapons are also seen in one of the said videos, being used to intimidate the said youths.
Regardless of the behaviour exhibited by the youths, Zambia has sufficient laws in place to deal with such conduct.
The institution bestowed with the constitutional power to effect arrests over such conduct, and possibly prosecute, is the Zambia Police Service, acting in liaison with the Director of Public Prosecutions. There is no law that gives military personnel power to mete instant penalties on erring members of society. To say the least, the conduct exhibited by the military personnel, who are identifiable in one of the videos, is illegal, inhumane, degrading and undermines the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism in the country.
Military personnel in Zambia play a key role, and their importance cannot be overemphasized. However, no one is above the law, and under no circumstances must any citizen, let alone men and women in uniform, take the law into their own hands and mete out street justice.
Therefore, it is LAZ’s strong view that such conduct by military personnel on private citizens should immediately be redressed by the Military Command. LAZ therefore, calls upon the Army Commander to take appropriate steps to promptly deal with the erring officers so as to maintain the Rule of Law, and to deter would be offenders within their ranks.
LAZ will not relent in execution of its statutory mandate to protect Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law, for the greater good of the Nation.
Dated this 23rd day of June, 2022.
Sokwani Peter Chilembo – HONORARY SECRETARY