Zambian police terminate recruitment of 8 Chinese nationals after public outcry

Zambian IGP (middle) with recently recruited Chinese nationals — Photo Credit: Jean Mandela

There was a public outcry on Monday after the recruitment of eight Chinese nationals from the Zambia-based Chinese community into the Zambian Police Service reserve unit.

The Inspector-General of Police Kakomba Kangana rescinded the decision a day after commissioning the newly uniformed reserve officers at a ceremony in the capital Lusaka where the Chinese community presented two cars to the police service.

Some of the recently recruited Chinese nationals — Photo Credit: Jean Mandela

The decision raised the arguments of legality especially when the Chinese reserves will have the power to arrest and detain suspects.

Renowned Zambian lawyer Dickson Jere argued on Monday that the recruitment of the Chinese nationals is a violation of the constitution which forbids dual citizens from taking part in national security assignments, he is quoted by local news portal Lusaka Times.

“So you stop your own citizens from joining the police because they have dual citizenship and yet you allow Chinese who have no links whatsoever to this soil to be part of the same police service,” he cites Article 194 (a) of the constitution.

He also questioned the police standing orders that prevent officers from marrying foreigners while Chinese nationals are being enlisted into the service.

Police spokesperson Esther Katongo denied the claims that their decision was in contravention of the constitution.
“These are police reserves. The Police Reserves are backed by cap 117 of the Laws of Zambia known as the Zambia Police Reserve Act. The reserves are there to assist the Zambia Police in maintaining Law and order. They are also vital in Community Policing. The Law does not segregate on race. Police reserves put on police uniforms,” she was quoted by Lusaka Times.

She added that they will not work alone but under the supervision of regular police officers.
The explanations did not sit well with Zambians on social media whose outrage got the police to backtrack on the decision.

Below are some comments and reactions sampled from Twitter.

Zambia employs Chinese police officers.

Coming to a Kenya near you? #Resist https://t.co/aIlw40GXx5

— Lagaless, HSC. ?? (@lagaless) December 19, 2017

This article written by Ismail Akwei was first published on face2faceafrica.com

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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