Following the tragic death of one man and subsequent riots prompting the postponement of the Livingstone by-election, the Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR) is calling upon the Patriotic Front government of President Michael Sata to stop its reckless manipulation of violence and show greater responsibility to uphold unity in the country.
The CDDR finds it unfortunate that in a moment of dangerous turmoil that the ruling party chose not pursue dialogue and peace, but instead began assigning blame toward political opponents before allowing for an investigation and due process of the law. The CDDR denounces the fact that 13 prisoners continue to be held under politically motivated charges, some carrying the death sentence, while the state-owned media has heightened tensions between ethnic groups by issuing false, prevocational reports.
In the report presented to the Commonwealth on February 12, the CDDR warned that the PF government had exhibited a dangerous history of violence, including but not limited to orders given by President Sata to the Armed Forces to fire upon citizens in Western Province, as well as numerous incidences of sending cadre militias to threaten and intimidate voters.
In support of these allegations, the CDDR has released a new video containing recordings of President Sata’s orders to the military, along with past instances of Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba urging cadres to engage in violence, as well as the aggravated assault against a former PF member by Judge Ngoma and others. As noted in the report, one of President Sata’s first acts as president was to release Mr. Ngoma, a convicted felon, from jail despite having perpetrated these violent acts.
The CDDR shall continue to document violations of civil and human rights in Zambia and present findings to international bodies in order to urge international action and bring about a return accountability and the rule of law.
More information on the CDDR’s activities and the full copy of the Commonwealth Report can be read at http://cddr-zambia.org.