Saturday 20th January 2018

Letter: Human Rights Day: Politicians talk, people suffer

Human Rights are integral to the survival of humanity, they reflect the core points of morality and outline the bare minimum that is deserved by our brothers and sisters across the globe.

They set out a guideline for leaders not just to uphold but to defend on a daily basis, in the constant fight against violence, poverty and exploitation.

Human Rights Day should be a day of sincere reflection of all the travesties of justice faced by humanity. However, when one lives in a land where simple pleas for freedoms fall on deaf ears, one must start at home and salvage the downtrodden on our doorstep.

Today will be a day where the ruling party talks about the importance of Human Rights: when you consider the injustices this great nation has struggled through at the hands of this government, this talk is not just cheap it offends the memory of our forefathers who struggled and gave their lives for our freedom.

Our students wanted their allowances and when they engaged in a civil demonstration to get what was owed, they were met with police violence. Farmers sought payment for their maize, delay after delay they suffered and when they stood up to demand what was owed they were met with arrest. Political figures and civil society have faced violence and oppression for trying to better our nation.

One incident stands tall, Clement Muloongo and Pumulo Lungwangwa lived in Kampasa in huts earmarked for demolition, they protested last year, ZNS Officers came, and their tragic story was etched into my mind for eternity. They claimed that they had lived on the land for 25 years: when they did not comply with the officer’s demands of removing themselves, they were shot.

Today we must not sit idly and allow cheap talk, but instead reflect on all of the abuses our brothers and sisters have suffered through and let that guide our choice of vote come January 2015.

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