The Zambia Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has urged the Zambia Police (ZP) to adhere to their standard operating procedures (SOPs) following the move by government to deploy police officers to enforce public adherence to COVID-19 health regulations and guidelines.

In a press statement made available to the Lusaka Star, ZHRC spokesperson Mwelwa Muleya said the commission is calling on the Zambia Police Service to strictly adhere to their own Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Officers have an obligation to strictly adhere to the recently developed SOPs for the Zambia Police Service which stipulates the guidelines on how they should execute their duties as they contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Zambia COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Programme,

Mr. Muleya said.

He further said the COVID-19 pandemic is real and that there is need for reinforced response against its spread by combining public awareness and enforcement mechanisms in order to save lives.

“The Commission commends the Zambia Police Service for being pro-active by developing SOPs for its officers with financial and technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and also technical support from the Human Rights Commission,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ZHRC also called on Government to decentralize COVID-19 pandemic fund to District councils, District Health Offices and Police Stations to scale up public awareness on, and adherences to COVID-19 public health regulations and guidelines.

This follows the resolution by cabinet on Monday, August 10, 2020 to deploy police officers to enforce public health regulations and guidelines on COVID-19, which is in line with Zambia’s multi-sectorial response to the Coronavirus, the Zambia COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Program.

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