Girl painted in yellow after she was accused of stealing
Girl painted in yellow after she was accused of stealing

Management of Jets Stores in Lusaka has fired all its workers who took part in the painting and harassment of two teenage girls who were caught on camera stealing clothes.

The managers at the clothing store located at the PHI Mall informed officers from the Human Rights Commission who stormed the shop this afternoon that it has dismissed all the workers who participated in the act.

The firm has also stated that the sacked employees will have to bear their own legal costs in an event that the case goes to court.

And the Human Rights Commission has strongly condemned the treatment of the two suspects describing it as torture cruel, inhuman and degrading.

In a statement, Commission Information Chief Mweelwa Muleya said 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.

Mr Muleya said 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.

He said 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,” he said.

Mr Muleya said the two female victims confirmed that they were accused of shoplifting a skirt, a sweatshirt and a hat while the stores Manager said they had shoplifted three ladies’ hats, a skirt and a boys’ T-Shirts.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

He added, “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.”

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55 COMMENTS

  1. It is said they chose their own method of punishment; go to jail or recolour their outfit! No criminal record; excellent choice!

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    • You call that excellent choice? I call you an excellent moron! I would want any of that to be done on my sister or any relative.
      The girls were scared, they probably made that decision of being painted on because they were scared

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    • What if those employees get reported to Zambian police, are they not going to be tortured? Since they are not politicians, they be jailed for more than 25 years.

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    • Fire them!! Good job for upholding human rights. Those ladies were extremely humiliated. We all know that the ladies were in the wrong for shoplifting, but again, we have laws that deal with such acts of stealing. The workers that painted the ladies were even more wicked than the ladies who tried to steal from Jets Stores. The real criminals are on the streets and in Government.

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    • Is the manager one of those fired or is some small chaps he instructed to paint the girls? HRC should also cite Jet management for wrongful dismissal.

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    • Why fire the workers only? The entire management at this shop must be fired. These workers acted on instructions or agreed rules. Who bought that paint? where was the Manager when the ladies where detained and beaten for two hours? When theft occurs in these shops, the first person to be informed is the stores Manager, so he should have been aware about what was happening, even the use of that paint which was removed from their shelves was authorized by the Manager. There is no way Jets can run out of this matter. They are part of it and should be sued as well.

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  2. Lusaka Times, you say the girls were teenagers, one 19 & one 21. Please, one stops being a teenager at 19. Be accurate in your articles, these articles you post aren’t for free that’s why we are subjected to ads on your site. Tit for tat!

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  3. Useless Human Rights Commission, it is expected that you would also admonish the thieving girls but alas you focussed on their ‘rights’. Zambia is losing its morals through Organisations like yours.

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    • @Akamunofu Kalowa – What more punishment do you want to be rendered to those ladies!!?? How about we display you at the Mall for those little crimes that you have committed when no one was watching? Dont get me wrong, the ladies committed a crime but there are set rules on how to handle such acts. Painting someone and humiliating them like that is not the way. Jets had an option, either to close the Store or fire those fake men that humiliated the ladies. The ladies have already been punished. Therefore, they should be released.

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    • In fact, Jet Stores management must publicly apologize to the ladies and compensate them (ladies).

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  4. Past or present acts, be it jet stores or zcbc doesn’t change the fact that article 15 of the republican constitution that seeks to preserve the right against inhumane treatment was and has been violated…. All three (shoplifters,employees of jet stores and jet stores management) are culprits but jet stores management is the MAJOR Culprit…for facilitating the inhumane act and using employees as a scape goat by firing them.BOMA iyanganepo

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  5. It’s a lesson to those who are fired and management has made a good step. People shouldn’t take justice in their hands. Only a court of law can call a person a criminal after court proceedings.
    Please people understand that long time human rights were not active.
    To our young ladies please avoid going in shop when you have no money. Why are you ladies always wants to wear cloths that you can’t afford to buy. This is why you become prostitutes. Fools

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  6. A thief is a thief, an evil person indeed. As a victim of these individuals, I they were killed actually. If the police were to come in, those thieves would have been stealing in other shops within an hour. Please to you maroons supporting these criminals and liking them to ” what if she was your sister’ blah blah blah’; go tell your sisters that if you shop lift or steal in a shop or anywhere “they will paint you of worse kill you”. This country is degenerating to serious low levels hey. No wonder politicians are stealing big time yet we feel sympathy for them.

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    • @Mwelwa

      Privileged to have read human rights law, I was deeply appalled at the inhumane treatment the two young Zambians were subjected to in this South African chain store. And even as Christians and Moslems and Jews and Bhudists we are told to extend humane treatment to those that wrong society.

      I can only advise the ladies to immediately seek a smart Tort lawyer and there a few good ones in our circles who will sue the South African giant (Vicarious Liability) for say ZAR5 million a piece. The local stores manager says the fired employees will bear their own legal costs. What a joke sir! I hope you have a large public liability insurance.

      On another matter and this is what is shameful. The inhuman and cruel treatment that we as Zambians subject each other. You see it…

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  7. just imagine those two ladies went to steal with pangas and hacked workers, what would be you reaction or comments. A thief is a thief.

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    • Then you let the law take its course, beside they were accused of shoplifting and never given a chance to defend themselves. Guys we need to know our rights and not just take the rubbish that people dish out.

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  8. ….this is now getting complicated….the employees wouldn’t have done that on their own accord…this certainly must be the shops policy and that was not the first time this has been done…if it was two teenager boys people could have just laughed it off…I hope management have taken that step to ‘fire’ employees just to quench the heat…but secretly will reinstate the employees other wise JETS should expect summons from the affected employees

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  9. These girls, or sorry , i meant thieves were even lucky to have been painted and set free.
    If they dare still from me, i will personally kill them.
    The LAW does not refund my business at all and i am expected to pay salaries, wages and
    other statutory obligations to feed the same LAW!

    Those of you who are in support of these thieves , are either thieves yourselves or maybe you have
    never been victims of these these yet!

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  10. You still dont get do you…even when you live in the US by your flag…try doing that to a shoplifter in the States.

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  11. You fire the junior staff and leave the managers who let them do all this during their shift and no the will not pay their own legal costs as the were employees of Jet Stores…if the girls counter sue…people need to educated about basic rights in Zambia.

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  12. It might be a wrong but theirs a riht way of doing things.jobs must be reinstated though!!!!!!

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  13. wow that was super quick by Commission Information Chief Mweelwa Muleya, now Mr. Muleya lets chat about the girl who was stripped in front of the cops at the youth day celebrations, why has speed eluded you on that human rights offence?

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    • Yes what about the poor lady stripped naked by those bandits from a unsuspected political party! She deserves supersonic reaction from this inhuman human rights…..

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  14. These girls are even worst thieves at their place of work where there are no cameras. They still reams of paper and other office stationery. Begwesa Boma abo bakazi. I only hope ZNBC will relieve them of their duties

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  15. Ma company aya, aikona mwandi, deadNBC denied any connection to that girl, now Jet store has denied it’s painters as well, it’s a lesson to all employees when your boss tells you to do something and it ain’t in your job description, say NO, if he insists take him to human rights commission looks like they have developed a new set of teeth.

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  16. “The firm has also stated that the sacked employees will have to bear their own legal costs in an event that the case goes to court” unfortunately for Jet this happened on their watch and can’t just blame the employees involved in the incident and I believe this happens in these situations but this happened to end up on social media. Jet are fully responsible and should bare the cost of this and if it means being fine heavily so be it. The girls were only accused of theft but never given a chance to defend themselves as detailed in our countries laws. I hope the good lawyers out there will take up this case as this was inhumane and this should never happen again.
    Jet needs to apologizes to these women as soon as possible .

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  17. Firing the workers is not the answer. The workers who were involved in this required counselling.
    Jet stores should own up on this matter, they kept the paint just or such a purpose.

    reinstate those workers.

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  18. Jet Stores management know the legal implications of what happened and they are trying to run away from it. What guidelines are in place in an event someone is caught stealing? Don’t just comment anyhow laws must be respected.

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  19. why is it that women are highly favored even when they steal? if those two girls where boys or young men the story could have been different even the so called human rights commission could not have been heard

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  20. What about ZP who beat UPND cadre at woodlands police as if they were killing a snake. What is human rights commission going to do about it. At least jet has fire and so quickl, can minister of home affairs also fire those 3 cops now

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  21. wow i didn’t know we even had a human rights commission they’ve been missing one some many major issues especially the politically motivated ones or related to cadres

    as for Jet management should be fined as well, who paid for that paint ? cause its not cheap

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  22. where were these ladies caught? was it inside the shop towards exit, at check point or after the check point? shoplifting only applies to offenders who exit the shop with a concealed item.

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  23. How does the Commission misleadingly claim that this punishment is prohibited in Article 15 of the Constitution? Which Constitution? The recentlly amended Constitution does not have a Bill of Rights which will be subjected to a referendum during the 11th August, 2016 General Elections.

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  24. The old and the amended constitution run concurrently until the bill of rights is sorted via referundum.

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  25. Jet stores should reverse its decision of firing its workers. Next time the Jet store workers will halt taking any action in the event that they see thieves looting the stores.
    Thieves are evil and should get punished. Next time these nefarious girls will steal more knowing very well that the law is on their side.
    I believe this is to do with gender. All over the world women are favoured more than men. Imagine if these girls were men, by now it would have been a different story.

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  26. It is jets shop that is answerable not the individual actors. The person to be fired is the manager under whose authority the actors performed he is also in control of the practices at the shop. We appreciate the work of Humanrights commission but shocked at their cowardice when government abuse Humanrights of individuals.

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  27. The girls should go ahead and sue JET stores. Those employees were just employees. Management allowed it. The workers should also make their own claim.

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    • Nga balibasecha namufinyoooooooooooo! In South Africa they would have necklaced them with car tires filled with petrol and set them alight

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  28. This will serve as a lesson for stupid boys like the one in the photo painting the poor lady and then taking a picture to humiliate her even further. The staff should never be re instated because they went beyond company rules and procedures of dealing with theft.

    I commend the Manager highly for being human and treating offence in a humane manner.

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  29. Zambians, eish busy insulting each other, other trying to outwit each other, my wish, was to see the same vigor expressed in condemning the acts perpetuated against the 2 thieves, should have been applied in confronting the acts of the three policemen who brutalised that Upnd supporter and the girl stripped naked in full view of the police during youth day.it’s shame full for HRC to be seen active now, barely a month ago. What is commission saying about the 2 cases.

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  30. that news is most welcome,those chaps had the propensity to degrade the young ladies for their amusement i was appalled by such inhumane behaviour,in other countries they can even sue for a large sums of money just like hogan did and he will be paid more money than he ever saw in his decades of wrestling,the move by human rights group gives me hope of a better zambia without primitive conduct which has been witnessed a lot in our country in form of mob justice and police brutality,people have died for stealing vitumbuwa or a cob of maize so i salute the human rights org for taking up this case can only hope our society will be a lot more civilized in handling such matters.

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  31. You invited South Africa to run your shopping malls as if you have no business acumen yourselves. You should have known you invited South African savagery too. Here theres no respect for life-remember the countless xenophobic riots? Here is what they do to shoplifters check it out: https://youtu.be/05cM69jfvTM

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  32. Ba Jet this is just a kneejerk reaction. Jet is obviously just playing to the gallery. Usually an employer conducts a disciplinary hearing before arriving at such a decision. But because of the attention this has attracted jet wants to be seen to be acting. In their haste they ignore labour laws. Soon these workers will appeal and jet will be forced to reinstate them

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  33. It seems the vice the ladies comitted has been out weighed by the painting. What does christianity say about stealing? What does the law say about stealing. Seems painting is prohited while stealing is accepted. If those women can from illiterates and without contact people who have taken a different stance. The irony of things.

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