Sunday 18th February 2018

Letter: Human Rights – List of alleged abuses

Dear Editor,

Today is Human Rights Day. I suggest we all reflect on the alleged abuses of the past 3 years.

May 15th 2012: A civil servant in Kasama was sentenced to three months imprisonment with hard labour for defaming Republican President Michael Sata. He was a first time offender.

May 20th 2012: Sata sued the Daily Nation newspaper, radio station Hot FM, opposition leade Hakainde Hichilema, and University of Zambia lecturer Cholwe Beyani for defamation of character and demanded to be paid ZMK1.2 billion in damages.

June 6th 2012: Police in Lusaka beat up 44 protesters and broke-up a demonstration by UPND youths to press for the resignation of Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito. QFM journalist Alexander Musokotwane who went to cover the demonstration was also beaten up be Police officers despite having an identity card.

2nd August 2012: The Catholic Priest Viateur Banyangandora was deported to Rwanda for preaching about the poverty Zambia faced by then Home Affairs Minister and current PF Presidential Candidate Edgar Lungu. The Priest spent 4 months in Rwanda before he was allowed back.

13th August  2012: Hakainde Hichilema was arrested and charged this would be the first of many spurious charges levelled against him as an opposition leader.

26th December 2012:  This was the first time Dr Mumba was arrested and charged, this was one of four arrests the Opposition Leader has faced.

May 2013 Black Friday Demonstration: Armed PF cadres descended on Bible Gospel Church, as Bishop John Mambo and others demonstrated against the removal of subsidies.  Before prayers began, the cadres hospitalized Mambo and others. Journalists were also assaulted and their equipment was destroyed.

June 2013 Kampasa Killings: As the people of Kampasa demonstrated against the demolition of their homes ZNS officers shot dead two residents. The victims were Clement Muloongo and Pumulo Lungwangwa, reports indicate they died whilst trying to flee.

June 12th 2013: Zambian security officials fired live rounds into a crowd of people attempting to purchase football tickets for a World Cup qualifier, resulting in one young woman losing a kidney from a bullet that tore through her midsection.

From June 24th to July 16th of 2013 the government blocked Zambian Watchdog. They have also blocked the websites of Zambia Reports and The Barotse Post.

On September 23rd 2013: Police summoned Dr Nevers Mumba for allegedly insulting the president in a radio interview.

December 12th 2013: Richard Sakala of the Daily Nation and McDonald Chipenzi of FODEP were arrested and charged, these charges were only recently dropped.

12th April 2014: Sun Radio reported opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was forced to exit through the roof because armed PF cadres were waiting outside to attack him.  Radio Mano, Isoka Radio, Kasempa Radio, and Hot FM Radio have all reported similar types of harassment during the past year and a half.

June 3rd 2014: At ISO FM radio, the PF District Chairperson, the police, and a senior official from the council stormed the station because they featured UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango.

August 10th 2014: In the build up to the Mangango by-election Judge Ngoma, a notorious PF cadre, allegedly fired live rounds.

September 11th 2014 By-elections: Nevers Mumba was blocked from campaigning by police.

Recently ZNBC reported that senior PF government officials have entered their newsroom to harass and threaten members of their staffs.  One specific incident occurred in late November 2014 Chishimba Kambwili and Anthony Kasolo entered the newsroom and ordered them to remove news.

In essence this is merely a summary of the abuses that have been alleged over the past 3 years.

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