Zambia’s cabinet approves introduction of bill to amend controversial law on public gathering


Zambia’s cabinet has approved the introduction of a bill in parliament to amend a law that governs public gatherings, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Chushi Kasanda, the Chief Government Spokesperson, said the amendment of the Public Order Act was necessary in order to develop a legal framework that regulates public assemblies, processions and meetings anchored on constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms.

“The Public Order Act has gone through a number of amendments in response to emerging issues largely attributed to changes in political and social dynamics in the governance systems of Zambia, the region and the world,” she said in a statement.

The government spokesperson further said the government has decided to review the controversial law due to increased public outcry on its application and court proceedings over the provisions.

According to her, the government’s intention was to come up with sound legislation which will not only stand the test of time but also promote the public good.

The law has come under public criticism over the years, with opposition political parties and civil society organizations crying foul over its application as it has often been abused by successive governing parties. Enditem

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