The Commonwealth Secretariat constitutes team to review the Opposition petition
The Commonwealth Secretariat has confirmed receiving a petition from Zambia’s leading opposition leaders over the alleged worsening human rights situation in Zambia.
The Commonwealth Secretariat said a petition from the opposition leaders in Zambia was received in London this week.
Commonwealth Secretariat Director of Communications & Public Affairs Richard Uku said in response to a news query that a team at the Secretariat has since been constituted to review the petition.
He said the secretariat has received the submission from the ‘Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights on behalf of the opposition leaders adding that the process of examining the submission has commenced.
Mr. Uku assured that the Commonwealth will respond to the petition once the submission has been examined.
On Tuesday, Zambia’s opposition leaders called for a suspension of Zambia from the Commonwealth, accusing President Michael Sata of stifling democracy.
The leaders of several opposition parties and civil society groups gathered in Johannesburg to make the call, claiming it was now impossible for them to operate normally in Zambia.
They called “for the provisional suspension of Zambia from the Commonwealth pending investigation” into rights abuses.
Nigeria, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Fiji have previously been expelled from the 54-nation bloc.