The relevance of the Public Order Act in the prevention of political conflicts in present day Zambia
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The research sought to investigate the relevance of the Public Order Act in the prevention of political conflicts in Zambia. The specific objectives were to find out how the Act was being administered; to investigate the challenges faced in the administration of the Act; and to recommend policy measures to improve on the administration of the POA. The research sampled 40 respondents who were composed of lawyers, political leaders and police officers. The main methodology used in this research was a qualitative case study and a self-administered semi - structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. The research found out that the people responsible for administering the POA were the police. It was consequently clear from this research that though many of the police officers were conversant with the provisions of the POA, it was apparent that the levels of professionalism were seriously affected by political interference. This interference largely came from the party in power. Further, the research found out that for the POA to be more effective in preventing political conflicts there was need for some amendments to be made to the Act rather completely repealing it. It was also found out that there was need to conduct more education and sensitization on police officers and political party members on the provisions and proper administration of the Act. Following the objectives and the findings of this study, this research made some recommendations that: included that the Act should provide for a clear appeal procedure in the event of a dispute; the Act should also make a clear distinction between public gatherings that are held indoors and those that are held outdoors; more sensitization campaigns on the provisions of the Act; need to improve on the accessibility of the Act; and finally there was need to improve on the requirements of notice for the holding of a public gathering or procession.
University of Zambia
Master of Science in Peace, Leadership and Conflict Resolution