Girls caught stealing painted in yellow at Levy Mall
Girls caught stealing painted in yellow at Levy Mall

JET Stores in Lusaka has come intense condemnation from stakeholders after workers poured yellow paint on two young ladies for allegedly stealing from the store in November 2015.

The Human Rights Commission in a statement issued to the media by its Chief of Information, Education and Training Mweelwa Muleya said it strongly condemn acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of two females.

Muleya said the Commission become aware of the incident yesterday after the pictures of the two ladies went viral on social media and that independent investigations have confirmed the incident.

“The Commission became aware of this form of human rights violation yesterday, 21st March 2016, through Social Media Platforms and immediately instituted independent investigations, which established as a fact that two named ladies of Mtendere Townships in Lusaka, aged 19 and 21 years old respectively, were indeed subjected to acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment by Jet Stores Officials on 23rd November 2015 around 18:00 hours.

“The Commission has since interviewed the Stores Manager at Jet Stores, PHI, who has admitted painting the ladies with water paint, claiming that the victims consented to that kind of ill-treatment as opposed to being either fined or taken to police. The Commission has also interviewed both victims who reported that they were physically and emotionally abused by beating them with electrical cables from 16:00 hours to 18:00 hours to an extent of one of them becoming unconscious while the other one bled from the ears. The victims also claimed verbal, sexual and physical harassment during the ordeal that took place in a room where they were later forced to lay down and subjected to being painted with yellow water paint all over the body,” Muleya said.

“The Commission wishes to remind and warn both State and Non-State Actors that acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment are absolutely prohibited by Article 15 of the Zambian Constitution.
This prohibition is couched in absolute terms and no consent of the victim can waive this right to freedom from being tortured, which is aimed at protecting the inherent dignity and worth of a human being.

“It is also a breach of various Regional and International Human Rights Instruments such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right and the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which Zambia ratified in 1998. There is no crime that justifies Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Suspects should always be reported to police who should in turn take such suspects to court, without resorting to torturing suspects under whatever circumstances.

“The Commission will summon both Jet Stores Management and the two victims for further investigations and action. The Commission is extremely concerned with increasing cases of such human rights violations. As a long term measure, the Commission is implementing Business and Human Rights projects and is also working towards facilitating the enactment of a national law criminalising torture to operationalise the Constitution and various Regional and International Human Rights Instruments,” the statement further reads.

Meanwhile YALI also added its voice and below is a statement in full.

YALI CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST JET STORES FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) calls upon the Zambian Government to prosecute JET employees at PHI Shopping Mall and take measures to ensure that that JET Shop Management are held accountable for violating the rights of 2 ladies who were painted with yellow paint on allegation of shoplifting.

It is clear that Jet Shop and it’s employees have violated the constitutional rights of the ladies by the degrading and inhuman treatment of the 2 ladies whom they suspected to have tried to shoplift from JET Stores.

Article 15 of the Zambian Constitution protects it’s citizens from being subjected to torture, or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other like treatment and both foriegn and local investors must be alive to such provisions.

We call on the Zambia Police to enforce the rights of the two ladies by bringing the employed from JET who splashed paint on the ladies to book and take measures to have the investor account for allowing such inhuman treatment from happening within the precinct of its stores.

YALI call upon the Zambian women and their movements such as NGOCC and Zambia National Women Lobby Group to conduct peaceful protest at JET Stores around the country including the demand of closure of JET stores.

We cannot allow our young mothers to be stripped of their dignity in the name of enforcing the law.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. But the gals really look sexy in that blondy kinda black n yellow after Wiz Khalifa

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    • And you claim you have a woman vice-president watching young women sexually abused in a shop where even Ester lungu’ wife shops.
      Shut down that shop.

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    • close the shop and bring those two boys responsible for painting the girls to book. we want those boys dealt with in accordance with the law

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  2. Worse than I thought. At least the clarification has been provided. No such thing as consenting to be tortured for your crimes.

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  3. Jet stores needs to be fined, and whom ever was involved arrested and charged this very moment.

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  4. Closing the shop won’t help us as a country because i don’t think that kind of punishment is not what the owners of Jets store would have subjected the two young females. Let us address what could have caused them to steal(Telling people to be content with what they have and working for what one wants will help in avoiding such). I am very much against TORTURE but condemning STEALING is more appropriate in this case.

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  5. …this news has been doing rounds since Saturday..but up to now we haven’t had an opportunity to hear the management side of the story….like I said in the previous posting on the previous article on the same…I said when this started about twenty years ago…shopliifters if they confess on their own they used to be given a choice…either to hand them over to police or they roll themselves in a pool of mud and let go…just as a ‘shame the devil’ act….if that was the case then management is in the clear….if management did not give the shameless ladies a choice then management is guilty in that only courts of law are mandated to spell out the punishment for the guilty culprits,,,

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  6. I almost thought the Human Rights Commission had closed their offices in Zambia. A lot has happened in the last few weeks & we have not heard from them. I do not condone violence, but this selective approach to all what has been happening in the last few weeks smacks of the highest level of hypocrisy & unless u start taking an active role in condemning all acts of violence some of us will never take u seriously. That equally applies to YALI.

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  7. YALI and HRC should concentrate on calling the State to order in order to stop them from the harassment of politicians; as well as the abuse of resources. Surprising that while people are dying in hospitals, YALI and HRC are silent

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  8. No human rights for thieves. They’re even lucky they were painted. Even politicians we will start painting them. Useless human rights activist

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  9. Ba commission fimo fimo – why don’t you do and respond the same way against the police, ECL and PF when they are hacking and abusing opposition?

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  10. What’s the work of HRC? Just to issue some condemnation & we pay them for that. What was the purpose of even interviewing thes people? I thought they would lead in prosecuting JET stores.
    On the flip side how many of our people know their rights? This incident happened in nov’ 15 & its only coming to light now? The HRC act needs revisiting surely.

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  11. if those were men. the Human Rights Commission would have been quiet. let do not know their mandates.

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  12. Probably better than going behind bars in a nice Zambian prison for six months. These Zambian cells are no good, ask GBM why he is now insulting Jerabos and not Edgar Lungu any more. He learnt his lessons well.

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  13. YALI makes a lot of sense on many issues and theirs is always valuable guidance. HRC is condemning while YALI is calling for positive action by government against Jets for violation of rights! All it needs is to report Jets to police and then let the law take its course. There is no way that Jets can arrest, prosecute, be the jury, pass judgement convict and, arbitrate. Jets has to face the law!

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  14. The Culprits are JET Store are still there working. LET THIS NOT JUST END UP TALKING BUT abusers be arrested and charged for inhuman, torture that they exhibited. We cannot allow such things happening in this era. May the Police move in quickly and arrest this law breakers.

    MANAGEMENT OF JET STORES SHOULD FIRE THE WORKERS TOO

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    • The only way for them get the message is if some smart lawyer gets on this one and helps those girls as they have case here.
      Big Business should lead by example!!

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  15. Face it guys, Zambia does not belong to Zambia. The foreign investor is KING in Zambia. He can do as he likes to the citizens of Zambia….A FACT OF LIFE, exacerbated by a weak government

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  16. The fact is you can not be judge,jury and executioner…let’s have respect for humanity..these are not armed bandits; the fact this is a big business responsibility should be taken…I can only imagine the other things they did to them in the back office…this should be condemned in the strongest terms, such matters should be refereed to the police.

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  17. It’s funny how many of us Zambians turn almost if not all issues to the government. What does the first lady and madam vice president have to do with this when clearly there institutions that are responsible for such things.
    What the members of staff was wrong and the responsible institution must take action over jet stores phi and it’s members of staff

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  18. Clarify please. Last time I visited, Levy mall and PHI mall were very far apart and very different. Have these two malls now merged such that one can refer to THE MALL as Levy or PHI interchangeably? Just asking….

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  19. Which Article 15 of the Constitution is this spokesperson referring to? The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No.2 of 2016 has repealed and replaced Part IV of the old Constitution which had the Bill of Rights under which the provision of the prohibition of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment falls. The amended Constitution does not have Articles 5 to 32 which were repealed and replaced. These Articles will form the Bill of Rights after being subjected to a referendum during the General Elections and thereafter being signed into law. This therefore means that as at now, there is no provision for Article 15 in the Constitution

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