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Alba Iulia
Friday, July 3, 2020

HRC condemns and institutes investigation into the killing of ZAF officer

Headlines HRC condemns and institutes investigation into the killing of ZAF officer

Murdered ZAF Officer
Murdered ZAF Officer

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has condemned the alleged killing of a Zambia Air force (ZAF) Officer who was in custody at Woodlands Police on Saturday and has instituted investigations into the matter to ensure justice is done.

HRC Chief of Information Officer  Mweelwa Muleya said what is clear in the public domain, and not in dispute so far is the fact that the ZAF officer, Sergeant Mark Choongwa, died after being brutally beaten.

“What seems to be in dispute is whether or not he was beaten by either the inmates or the Police Officers at Woodlands Police Station.” Mr Muleya said.

He noted that in either case, the right to life as guaranteed by Article 12 of the Constitution of Zambia has been violated and suspects must be subjected to an impartial, fair and transparent due process of the law in accordance with Article 18 of the Constitution of Zambia, after being appropriately charged so that justice is done.

Muleya said it is the duty of the State to protect the rights of persons in their custody, including from harm arising from third parties such as inmates.

“Where any arbitrariness has occurred such as in the death of the ZAF officer, the State has an obligation to effectively and promptly take necessary steps to secure appropriate redress to victims and/or their families and to also punish perpetrators of human rights violations to end impunity,”he said

He pointed out that the Commission has keenly followed the media statements from both the Zambia Police Service and the relatives of the deceased and is conducting its own independent investigations and come up with its findings and recommendations on the matter.

The Commission is also investigating the death of a 26 years old man, Kelvin Kabango, who died in Kabwe General Hospital on 9th March 2017, after allegedly being tortured by the Police Officers at Landless Corner Police Post in Chisamba District to compel him to confess having stolen a farming equipment. Investigations have so far reached an advanced stage and the findings will be released as soon as investigations are finalised.

The Chief Information Officer pointed out that acts of torture, either by State or Non-State Actors are a violation of the right to protection from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as under Article 15 of the Zambian Constitution.

He   reiterated the State’s obligation to respect, promote and protect human rights in accordance with national, regional and international human rights laws.

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    • The deceased was so much disadvantaged;;
      ZAF officer in dispute with ZP, their stupid culture of discipline each other
      Wrong name, it is a fact. If the ZAF guy was a Zulu or Lungu he could have been spared.

    • While I sympathise with the family for losing their beloved one, I am trouble with HRC who say the “duty of the State to protect the rights of persons in their custody, including from harm arising from third parties such as inmates”.
      So is HRC voicing their concerns when it’s the cases to do with people in custody? I did not see HRC when the young lady from Chawama was killed while on a peaceful match during the election period. Is HRC being selective?

    • This is very sad happening, and the police have duty to protect all citizens.

      Even those they think needs to be subjected to the law based on perceived offences, the police have a duty to protect their lives and not to kill them.

      This, just like any other similar occurrences, is very bad and must be condemned by any sensible and well-meaning not only zambian, but any human being.

    • “We cannot tolerate such culture by any policeman or groups of policemen on our soil.”

      PF party Secretary General, PF cadres and State house presidential advisers (Kaiser Zulu)are exempt!!

    • The quality of service Zambians have been subjected to by ZP is reflective of the characters of men PF has appointed to head this important ministry from the time they came into power.How do normal thinking people believe charlatans like kampyongo ,mwila davis etc can give a sober mind to a security service,to that add kaisala Zulu,we Zambians are jokers.You reap what you sow.

  1. Please tell us the truth. We know its the Police that beat him up. We need them to be made answerable. ZP is too brutal. They still beat up people to get information. The whole ZP needs an overhaul.

  2. Brutality on opposition members by PF cadres in Police uniforms is now being vented even ZAF officers.

    With a WEAK, LAZY illegitimate president & Govt, soon ZAF officers will retaliate, watch this space. When will i end? Maybe when LAZY himself gets bitten by his police thugs.

    – Mapenzi’ s killing was never investigated & brushed at aside bcoz she was UPND
    – Police brutaliy on UNZA students was never investigated.
    – Police battering of Komboni radio owner Ms Kasoma (daughter to Prof. Kasoma, ex PAZA president) was laughed at by a fellow woman, Veep Wina. What a shameful woman!
    – The video that went viral of the brutality after pepper-spraying on women who went to HH & GBM court case is still fresh on our minds, Yet no action was ever taken.
    – Everyday police act above the law…

    • CONT’D..

      – Everyday police act above the law & assault citizens with brutality.

      Zambians live in fear of police as it could be your last day on earth. Today its me, but tomorrow it’ll be you.

  3. Sadly the opposition is not getting any more militant by forming self-defence units to protect the citizens against Zulu and his lapdog Edward

  4. ….as soon as we inculcate the fact that police men are also under the laws of the land and can be prosecuted like any other citizen …only then shall we have sanity in men and women in uniforms…somehow these guys assume to be above the law…

    • The main reason they assume to be above the law is because they are accessories to crimes being perpetrated by those in powerful government positions. The police know how Lungu stole the elections; they know how Lungu and his minions steal from public coffers; they know how he stole the from the maizegate; they know his corruption and where he stucks his proceeds of looting; they help those in power to harass and persecute their perceived enemies like Fred Mmembe or HH or Kambwili, etc. Therefore the police know that they will be protected and shielded by those in power. They know they are untouchable under the circumstances. That’s the sad reality… and as long as the rich and the powerful continue to flout the laws and break them with impunity, the police will be thugs in rampage.

  5. And you have the Commonwealth saying that the elections were free and fair when everyone knows how brutal PF candles and PF police are. Need to lock these id10t PF police for many years for them learn a lesson

  6. Those trying to gain political mileage out of this terrible incident are lost souls!
    RIP young Airman! The State had high hopes for you, you were trained to be an Airman and a lot of resources were spent on you, a lot of hope and high expectations from your family. Sad they were taken away by ignorant police officers. May the powers that be deal severely with all found guilty in this unfortunate matter. Negligence on the part of the civilian police is no excuse. ZAF Military Police should’ve handled this matter not ZP. Let’s not repeat this! Ba Davis Chama please issue a directive restricting the arrest of all military by ZP, military that commit offences should be in military police custody not civilian police custody.

  7. This is the worst Police. In Kitwe roadblocks have surfaced with Police openly saying who is this minister to stop us from putting roadblocks, are we going to eat him. They are very rude and I am hundred percent sure they killed that guy in custody

  8. Forget the inmates. You just want a scapegoat to bring into the story. The police killed him. Bapombo balitumpa sana

  9. There is serious torture going on by the police in Zambia despite them being law enforcement agents. I can confess on this forum that I was a passenger in a certain truck in mbala district in 2015 that was impounded for illegal transporting of mukula tree. When we were taken to the police post we were brutally beaten and tortured using an iron bars despite the case being known already. The officer in charge then now @ kasama central a mr Green chilumba was in the fore front. Access for medical attention was denied and I stayed for weeks in serious pain. We were beaten like they were killing snakes. They used everything around us including gun handles. Please the HRC should not just come in when things are rough but should come up with a routine manouver in police cells and prisons and…

  10. Fellow party members a few hours ago I and colleagues visited the funeral house to offer our condolences on behalf of the party….we are more than sure that adolf will later emulate or efforts from the comforts of his house to ‘lead’ a team of his cronies to the funeral house and pretend he cares when the party he heads by force is in disarray. It is now led by directives and orders from he who knows it all…any question you are labeled hungry as we do not have the deep pockets that come with “wisdom”. But we know the people know what they want and we are marching on…tomorrow we shall visit obvious in kitwe.

  11. HRC doing a very good and commendable job but I wish they had come out strongest on the Namwala saga where houses and property of innocent people were burnt. They could have been most highly commendable.

  12. How do you expect Police to behave if their master Kaizer Zulu is the head of violence? This human rights fimo fimo is also nothing. Why were they silent when Kaizer brutalised that female police officer? Wasn’t that violation of human rights? We are going no where because even the institution that are supposed to protected human rights have also been bought .

  13. I have always said HRC is a toothless bull dog that only backs when it realizes its existence is unjustifiable. So many unjust killings have taken place at the hands of the police and this dog has been busy cracking the bones and today just because probably the deceased is somehow related to the spokesperson that is when we hear the dog barking and that will be it.

  14. These Thugs in the police need to be taught a lesson by the soldiers.This is a clear case of police brutality and how the police under Pf has been infiltrated by criminals elements. They will try and shield the guilty cops. please our galant soldiers bring some sanity to these officers at woodlands

  15. @ Chali, an ordinary citizen always finds it hard to institute legal action. The slow wheels of justice makes it prohibitive to take that course. And legal representation is not readily available; the Legal Aid lacks best brains apart from fresh graduates whose familiar line goes like: “Just accept the offense in order to attract leniency”. Poverty makes the burden a lot harder for a poor citizen who can’t even afford a bus ride. Under the circumstances, blog cites like Lusaka Times provide the only platform through which a beleaguered citizens can be heard like was the case with the Kasama Girls Abuse issue. All the reason why LT should be applauded for being welcoming to all, and indeed the reason why bloggers should better utilise such platforms and not be abusive.

  16. Violence begets violence.The ZPS killed an Opposition supporter in cold blood last year, Mapenzi Chibulo in cold blood.A PF supporter was shot dead his home by ZPS in Kitwe. A UPND supporter was shot by ZPS in the bottom at the High Court in Lusaka and a ZAF Officer has been killed in the Woodlands Police Station cells. We told Lungu not to Politicise ZPS and other govt depts but he refused to listen. Zambia is slowly being turned into a Failed and Police State under illegitimate Lungu’s watch. Lawlessness and violence have no place in the Zambian Society. The violent behavior by KZ at the CAF Tournament recently makes matters worse becoz KZ is an Adviser to Lungu. The tragedy with Zambia is that the Illegitimate President has surrounded himself with Criminals and Fraudsters so…

  17. The Problem with our HRC is that they just end up in condemning and they get Huge Salaries just for condemning ……….. Prove me wrong with a case study

  18. The POLICE are the culprits of this heinous murder and I hope ZAF will take action against them. Having been detained twice, I observed that detainees actually sympathize with each other and they do not beat, I mean they are all in a bad situation only hoping to be released. Actually for cases proceeding to courts, they even share defense ideas, advising one another. It is the overzealous cops who have a shameful record of torcher. Since the incident happened, they have given a lot of conflicting statements ranging from the victim not being cooperative, to the victim being thrown in cells and recording at UTH that the victim was a BID from an RTA. They have conspicuously not mentioned any beating which is in itself not being transparent enough. ZAF should take stern action against the…

  19. This is very sad indeed. When a person is in police custody, that person must be protected by the police from being harmed from anything. If something happens to anyone in police custody,it can only be done by the police themselves in one way or another. Shame on this police. If I were ZAF I would go and beat the hell out of the police station.

  20. What should be done at the moment is to suspend all police officers at woodlands station who were on duty that night as investigations are under way and not to release any inmates who were in the cells that night.
    Thank you

  21. The police are brutal thugs. Last August I was coming from Lusaka around 22hrs and I was attacked not by thieves but by the police. They pepper sprayed me and beat me as if I was a thief. They even stole the money I had. What a useless police we have. This is the Masala Police. After the attack on me and abduction… coz I was just going home and not loitering… they still demanded that I pay them in the morning… after spending a night in their overcrowded and very filthy cells… What a bunch of useless and unprofessional thugs they are… They chase thieves because thieves are their competition… they steal from the same people..

  22. The police can kill you or indeed the criminals that you find in the cell can execute the punishment on behalf of the police. I am not talking from abstract but experience.

  23. I doubt if the police will ever change. They seem to have no empathy. I was once the victim. Instead of interrogating someone in a humane manner, all they know is BEAT. Breaking bones of victims. I wonder if they even enjoy sleeping or live a life well. When they brought me at the police station, one of the police even started mocking me to say even your child will be a thief. Chimwana chobe chikaba chikabwalala. Afterwards they found that the case is not what they thought it was. No wonder few policemen have friends. They are lonely. They don’t know that courts are there to prove someone guilty or not. To them all problems have 2 solutions: Teargas or Beating. Thats all! But they should know that whatever bad thing you do, you shall reap. Usually such police’s end is not pleasant…

  24. The deceased might have voiced his RIGHTS, insurance issues instead of cash compensation. Inmates without instructions can’t brutally beat anyone. All evidence point to ZP.

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