GOVERNANCE Elections Advocacy Research Services executive director McDonald Chipenzi says the country’s old laws need to be repealed as they are shrinking people’s rights. In an interview, Chipenzi said the country’s penal code was too old to be used and there was need for it to be repealed. Chipenzi said the country could not continue to be governed under an old penal code that was created in 1938 as if people were still in the colonial days.
He said Zambia was an independent country that required independent thinkers to help take the country forward.
Chipenzi said freedom of speech and assembly could not continue to be curtailed in a country that claimed to be democratic.
“We will not allow people’s rights to continue being stifled and the country cannot continue to be governed with a use of old laws as if we are in the colonial days. Zambians need to take keen interest in these old laws so that they can be repealed,” Chipenzi said.
He said a number of people have been arrested and charged with unlawful assembly under the penal code which contradicted the promotion of human rights.
Chipenzi said democracy was where people had a right to air their opinions and grievousness without being intimidated or arrested.
He said the public order Act needed to be amended the same way the Zambian Constitution had been amended. Chipenzi urged Zambians to participate in the review of the public order Act. He said everyone regardless of which organisation they work for should take part in the refinement of the Constitution and the enactment of the political parties’ bill.
Chipenzi said if old laws continued to be used by the law enforcers, people in the country would not have a civil space to interact or share ideas.
He called for a strong group of civil society groups and the media to help fight such old laws.