Zambia Police Service

The police service in Zambia is a national body which falls under the control of the Ministry of the Home Affairs and is structured at a national and provincial level. The Inspector General of Police is responsible for leading the Zambia Police Service (ZPS) in each of Zambia’s ten provinces, each of which is responsible for policing in their respective districts.

The mandate of the ZPS is to:

  • Apprehend offenders;
  • Cooperate with the civilian and security organs;
  • Preserve law and order;
  • Protect life and property;
  • Prevent, detect and prevent crime; and
  • Preserve peace.

The police force is structured in terms of subdivisions, including: State House, School of Public Order and Maintenance, Protective Unit, Paramilitary, Lilayi Police Training School, Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority, and Airports.

Oversight Mechanisms

Oversight of the police is conducted both internally and externally, with internal mechanisms involving disciplinary trials and tribunals as well as a Police Professional Standards Unit which is mandated to investigate corruption, arbitrary arrests and detention, and other unprofessional conduct by members of the police.

In terms of external oversight, a Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA) has been established to investigate complaints involving the police, which may be submitted by victims, agents of victims or organisations representing victim interests. The PPCA can submit its findings, recommendations and directions to a range of bodies, including the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Inspector-General of Police, or to the Anti-Corruption Commission. It is important to note, however, that the PPCA’s findings are only recommendatory and that it cannot impose specific penalties.

In addition, there is also a Human Rights Commission that is responsible for conducting investigations of human rights abuses and any maladministration of justice, including incidents involving the police. Further, various non-governmental organisations in Zambia are working to promote police oversight through awareness campaigns and training, including the Legal Resources Foundation, the Law Association of Zambia, and the Foundation for Democratic Process.

  1. Interpol: Connecting Police for a Safer World. Country Profile: Zambia. Available at: <Accessed on 30 March 2016>.
  2. African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (2008) An Audit of Police Oversight in Africa: Zambia, p 75-76.
Country Category Year Title URL
Zambia General 2013 Zambia: Town of Mooresville decision makers: Hold Mooresville Police Accountable For Illegal Abuse of a Disabled Woman Source
Zambia Research Publication 2012 2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Zambia Source
Zambia Research Publications 2009 The Criminal Justice System in Zambia; Enhancing the Delivery of Security in Africa Source (PDF)
Zambia Research Publications 2005 Policing in Zambia, In Overview of Plural Policing Oversight in selected Southern African countries Source (DOC)
Zambia Research Publications 2005 Report on Child Justice in Zambia with reference to UNICEF supported projects Source (PDF)