CiSCA Condemns Arbitrary Detentions of Opposition Politicians

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Bishop Mambo speaking at the launch
Bishop Mambo speaking at the launch

The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) has said that it is appalled at the emerging trend of unrestrained violation of the constitutionally guaranteed civil and political rights of opposition politicians in this country.

In a statement released to the media today, CiSCA said that The arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Mr. Obvious Mwaliteta and others on a lengthy pre-trial detention for one year and the recent detention of Dr. Saviour Chishimba for 8 days on a bailable and bondable offense is inimical to democratic process and dispensation in the country.

Below is the full statement

The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) is appalled at the emerging trend of unrestrained violation of the constitutionally guaranteed civil and political rights of opposition politicians in this country.

The arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Mr. Obvious Mwaliteta and others on a lengthy pre-trial detention for one year and the recent detention of Dr. Saviour Chishimba for 8 days on a bailable and bondable offense is inimical to democratic process and dispensation in the country.

As CiSCA we demand that the government respects all the constitutional provisions without fail. Arbitrary deprivation of liberty that opposition politicians are being subjected to on a daily basis is unconstitutional and if the PF government does not exercise restraint, it will soon become a textbook example of why states are regarded as the biggest violator of human rights especially with the current weak oversight institutions.

What Mwaliteta, Chishimba and others such as HH have experienced and are experiencing has violated a number of their fundamental human rights inclusive of freedom of expression, association and assembly, protection against torture, cruel inhuman treatment or punishment the latter being a non derogable right even in a full blown state of emergency. Additionally, denying individuals the full protection of article 18, provisions to secure protection of the law, one of the lengthiest articles in our Constitution is nothing short of a failed state. Arbitrary deprivation of liberty is used by despotic political leaders the world over. This prompted the Human Rights Council of the UN to set up a Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and we urge the victims to communicate to this group to seek remedy. The Working Group does not require the exhaustion of local legal remedies as treaty bodies do. However, the communication has to have meticulous documentation of their experiences.

CiSCA cannot believe that despite the PF government having made a gigantic “song and dance” during the assenting to the Amended Constitution ceremony in 2016 can put the Constitution on their top shelves and opt to be guided by their base instincts in their efforts to desperately hang on to their hegemony.

We want to remind the PF that constitutionalism is a non-negotiable democratic tenet in modern democratic states and as such, CiSCA and all well-meaning citizens will not stand by and let the Constitution be wantonly violated but would continue to demand that the government of the day respects all the constitutional provisions without fail.

Additionally, denying individuals to secure protection of the law as contained in article 18 is nothing but a symptom of a failed state and therefore, the excuses by the police that they receive orders from ‘above’ to detain people more than the required period needs to be brought to an end.

1The unprofessional practice by the Police to deny political or indeed any detainee police bond through their unprofessional habit of vanishing in thin air and switching off all their phones when their services to sign a bond is required is an abuse of the powers and authority deposited in them and a serious
obstruction of justice.

Furthermore, the purely sadistic ploy of locking up people in police cells over the weekend especially long weekends is an injustice and must stop. A time has come for all patriotic Zambians to embrace the value of justice for all and to relentlessly pursue and bring to justice the so called professionals who commit evil against other people in their line of duty.

To this end, CiSCA would like to applaud the independence displayed by Judge Mwape Bowa on justice served on Obvious Mwaliteta and further request the rest of the bench to focus on the dispensation of justice blind to political or other affiliations.

For those judges that are afraid of political repercussions while discharging their duties, we urge them to voluntarily resign. Or, if they are being constricted in the exercise of their independence to send a communication to the UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers whose mandate is to protect and enhance judges and lawyers’ independence and to improve judicial systems.

Issued by:
John H. Mambo
Chairperson – #CivilSocietyConstitutionAgenda #CiSCA

30 COMMENTS

    • Cisca are a joke and need de registering.

      Our opposition are a nuisance and deservedly are punished.

      I will ask Nick to discipline my child when born in less than 6 months if they do not listen to him.

      He is the head of the house and I’m like my children will remain disciples.

      Those are my principle I was taught.

      I have a PhD

      Thanks

      Bb2014,2016

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    • ….”recent detention of Dr. Saviour Chishimba for 8 days on a bailable and bondable offense is inimical to democratic process and dispensation in the country”. This common sense that is lacking with our leadership and the back stops at the appointing authority.

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    • Iwe Mushota, Ba Dr Chishimba Kambwili says no quarrels with UPND going forward. It’s time to demolish the tribal PF.

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  1. Zambia is no longer Zambia, no longer the democratic country all of us, at one time, thought we knew. It’s now a different country.

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  2. opposition politicians in this country have no respect for the republican president of zambia ECL.

    therefore they shod be put in there place as to the crime committed.

    like HH committed a treason crime and hi is in jail as we are talking apaso.

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  3. The President is implementing what is in the Constitution which some of you OLD FORKS participated in formulating and benefitted financially. We are now tired of some OLD FORKS giving direction on the way forward for our Nation when you just used to sleep during the formulation of our current constitution

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    • “Old Forks” ka, and you even have the audacity of writing the wrong words in capital letters. You think this is fo.ol’s parade? Go back to school! Ati “OLD FORKS” you think this is a kitchen.

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  4. “What we are seeing now is a divided Zambia and the worst thing is that the man who is in State House today is even going to make it worse if not handled properly.  Where you have insecurity of tenure, a president who is scared of his own shadow, you get worried. The man in State House today is scared to the effect that very soon, we will hear that he is suspecting that those monkeys at State House want to stand in 2021. Very soon, they will start arresting monkeys if we are not careful,…”

    Chishimba kambwili
    Themastonline.. .

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  5. Thank you CISKA This is what LAZ should be yapping about all the time. Politically influenced arrests that have nothing to do with crime. Just the fact that you are not a PF member makes you arrestable. Where is or constitution to protect us citizens from power hungry political beasts such as edgar Lungu?

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  6. This is what Civil Society is all about. I don’t know what’s going on with the other NGOs.

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  7. Democracy doesn’t mean breakdown of law and order . If ordinary people can be detained for disorderly conduct, why shouldn’t a politician be arrested too. If and when Kambwili is picked for corruption you’ll cry foul and yet you’re the same people who’ve been advocating for his arrest.

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    • “…..If ordinary people can be detained for disorderly conduct, why ..”

      No, only UPND people are arrested PF thugs rule the streets with impunity……just look at the vicious attack and robbery of UPND mourners at a funeral by known PF thugs yet the police were are eating UPND mourners.. . ..

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  8. This “Company” in need of funding from donors is learning the English word, “arbitrary!” HH committed a serious crime which in other countries could have resulted in death of people. These guys have been playing with the nation’s security and you don’t do that if you are a leader who wants to be a president one day just like you wouldn’t want another person do that to you if you are president. On Chishimba, I don’t know what he did but one thing I know is that he too is in the same category as Under Five.

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    • Was HH the driver ? Why arrest a passenger? One doesn’t have to be a lawyer to know this mwebantu ba kwa Lesa please

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    • @Sharon: Blogging lesson 1, chapter 1, page 1, paragraph 1, first sentence: there is a reply button at the end of every comment, use that to reply.

      Otherwise we won’t know whom you’re sharing your non.sense with. At least we need some orderly non.sense from PF bloggers. It is hard as it is to make sense or logic of anything PF. So help us by organising your ru.bbish.

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  9. Ciska is 100% correct. The violation of Human Rights in general is now rampant in Zambia.The Lungu govt no longer has any respect of the Rule of Law, Constitutionalism,Good Governance and Human Rights. Lungu is abusing State Power and institutions to punish his Opponents. This habit of arresting people for crimes that they have not committed should stop. Mwaliteta has spent almost a year in Prison when he did not commit a Crime. Arresting people and charging them with unbailable charges for the purposes of keeping innocent people in Jail should stop.Lungu is directing the Police to arrest his opponents on Trumped Up Charges.The DPP is now a dept in State House and has ceased to be Independent and Professional. Lungu should leave the DPP to do her job independently and Professionally.

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