A high level Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Attorney General meeting was nearly thrown into disarray after the rights activists demanded a clause be added in their commitments for peaceful demonstrations to arrest and take to court Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets who disrupt the protests.
HRDC officials, at the meeting which was held in the absence of the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale but attended by top police officers and officials from the Attorney General offices, showed displeasure after noting that this clause was not included in the commitment paper.
The meeting went on after assurances that anyone caught disrupting the peaceful demonstrations would be arrested and be brought before the court.
Khwima Chizi, lawyer representing HRDC said he was impressed with the progress on the talks.
“We have made progress. The talks have gone the way we had wanted,” said Chizi.
He said the court will now endorse what had been agreed during the meeting for peaceful demonstrations.
“We will drop an intent order on how the demos should be conducted. The intent order would be binding and all parties shall abide by the order,” he said.
Deputy Inspector General of police, John Nyondo, told HRDC officials to ensure that protesters are unarmed, marshals should be deployed with their numbers and identies known for planning purposes, there should be transport ready for protesters after the demos and the media should stop live covered of the protests.
However, some of the issues the HRDC opposed to include; the police should train marshals, police to have personal details of the marshals, HRDC to provide transport to protesters after demonstrations and party leaders not to be given platform to talk to protesters.