The legal perspective of the corruption in the Zambian Police Service

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Chileshe, Alex
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Corruption manifests itself in various forms, at different levels and in different sectors of society. There is political corruption, judicial corruption, sports corruption, electoral corruption, administrative corruption, procurement corruption and many more. This essay looks at police corruption from a legal perspective. It aims to provide a common level of knowledge and understanding of corruption in the Zambia Police Service, its causes and the efficacy of the strategies for its prevention. The essay argues that the legal definition of corruption is limited to the 'gain' that a public officer derives from a certain activity connected to his official duties and does not include other malpractices or deviant behaviour per se, which behaviour may be difficult to measure and enforce as offences in the courts of law. However, it is this deviant behaviour which is rampant and which the common man calls 'police corruption' that has proved difficult to eradicate. In this regard, the essay looks at other definitions of corruption in the literature vis a vis conduct of police officers in performance of duties. The essay also identifies weaknesses in the legal framework pertaining to powers of the police as provided for in certain statutes which tend to encourage corrupt practices. From the facts, the essay observes that police corruption cannot simply be explained as a product of a few bad eggs but that it is intrinsic to policing as a job. By way of conclusion, the essay acknowledges that it would be unrealistic to expect a complete eradication of corruption in the Zambia Police Service. However, there is optimism that the Zambia Police Service can be reformed, and as such the essay makes suggestions of how corruption can be controlled. It is my sincere hope that this paper will significantly contribute to the understanding of police corruption in Zambia both from legal and broader perspectives and what needs to be done in order to curb it.
Corruption-Zambia , Corruption-law and legislation