Political Parties And The Security Forces

It is almost eight months since the new President assumed office with the objective of creating a level ground for Multiparty Politics. The President had to resign from a political party in order to stand as an Independent Candidate with the hope that he would not owe any allegiance to any political party and would form a cabinet that would be independent of all political parties. Political parties are expected to benefit from greater respect for freedom of expression, association, assembly and political participation.

Of recent, the issue of permits has become a point of contention between political parties and the security forces, especially the police administration. There is need for dialogue between political parties and security forces to ensure the exercise of their rights are not obstructed by security interferences. Political parties should be able to hold their rallies without hindrance; the issuing of permits should be to use public address systems and it should be done with speed without imposing any restrictions.

Police administration should know that the only significance that the application for the use of a public address system in public is to enable them to ensure that there is no clash between users of public space by ensuring that applications are honoured on a first come first serve basis. The use of public space for rallies would be done by political parties without any form of public disorder or conflict.

Police administration should therefore see itself as a facilitator of the democratic process and not a determinant of whether a party should exercise its right to hold a rally or not. Once this understanding is reached there should be no conflict between political parties and the police administration.