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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Human Rights Commission concerned with reports of mob burning a patient at Mazabuka hospital

Headlines Human Rights Commission concerned with reports of mob burning a patient at...

The Human Rights Commission has expressed grave concern at the continuing reports of gassing activities and the killing of people suspected of being behind the alleged ritual killings and gassing incidents.

HRC Chairperson Mudford Mwandenga noted that since reports of suspected ritual killings and gassing activities emerged, there has been a wide range of human rights violations and abuses which have adversely impacted on the right to life, the right to privacy, the right to property, freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and freedom of movement, among others.

Mr. Mwandenga further stated that the Commission is deeply saddened by reports of barbaric acts by some members of the public who dragged a patient out of a hospital bed at Mazabuka General Hospital and later set him ablaze on suspicion that he was linked to gassing activities.

He said there have been similar incidences reported in other parts of the country where innocent lives have been lost at the hands of members of the public who resort to beating, stoning and burning people alleged to be behind the ritual killings and gassing activities.

“The fundamental right to life is protected under Article 12 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia and no one may be arbitrarily deprived of his or her right to life,” Mr. Mwandenga explained.

He added that the right to life may be curtailed only under very strict and specific grounds permitted by the law which include the execution of a death sentence.

Mr. Mwandenga said unconfirmed reports indicate that a number of lives have been lost at the hands of law enforcement officers as well as angry members of the public meting out instant mob justice against persons suspected of carrying out ritual killings and gassing activities.

He said the Commission is particularly concerned at the continuing arbitrary loss of lives akin to extra-judicial killings involving State Agents, such as the alleged shooting by police officers of a pupil at Chazanga Primary School and the alleged shooting of a member of a neighborhood watch by officers of the Zambia Army in Mufulira district on the Copperbelt province.

“The Commission is equally disturbed by some unverified reports of unlawful killing of persons perceived to be involved in ritual killings and gassing incidents that have been reported in some parts of the country,” Mr. Mwandenga said.

The HRC Chairperson added that the continuing arbitrary loss of life, whether at the hands of law enforcement officers or members of the public, constitutes a gross violation of the right to life.

He further stated that the Commission is concerned at the continuing unlawful acts by members of the public who have resorted to blocking roads and harassing innocent members of the public as a way of expressing their anger and frustration at the alleged failure by the law enforcement officers to effectively deal with the prevailing insecurity in the country.

Riotous mob in Chikankata district.Pictures courtesy of Mweemba Finny.

“The Commission strongly condemns the unlawful acts of blocking roads by angry mobs, such as what happened recently on Mufumbwe-Chavuma and the Mazabuka-Lusaka Roads, where motorists were being stopped and searched on suspicious of carrying materials allegedly used in gassing activities,” He said.

Mr. Mwandenga charged that such lawlessness and criminality are totally unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue.

Meanwhile, Mr Mwandenga said that while the Commission encourages the communities to be on high alert and work closely with the police in bringing to an end the prevailing insecurity and distressing situation in the country, it does not condone individuals taking the law into their own hands and abusing human rights.
He said those carrying out unlawful acts and abusing human rights on the pretext of taking measures to respond to the atrocious acts of gassing households or suspected ritual killings should know that they would be held criminally responsible if and when they are arrested.

Mr Mwandenga has however commended the joint efforts of the Police and other State agencies and security wings aimed at putting to an end the gassing activities adding that the law enforcement agencies will move quickly to restore order and the rule of law in the country by taking all necessary measures to ensure that life and property are protected while people are allowed to freely exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.

And the Commission Chairperson has also called upon the police to conduct prompt and thorough investigations into the reported cases of arbitrary loss of life and property in order to ensure that perpetrators, be it law enforcement officers or members of the public, are identified, arrested and subjected to the due process of the law.

Mr Mwandenga urged the police to ensure that persons who have been detained in connection with the gassing incidents are dealt with in accordance with Article 18 of the Constitution which, among other things, guarantees the presumption of innocence and fair trial within a reasonable time.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Where there is no leadership (nor vision) anarchy takes its place.

    @KZ, just admit that your humble leader and his lot have failed Zambia. Our beloved country will soon become a fragile state.

    Where is the OP that you love to use against political opponents? What’s in their daily report to you on this issue?

    Why hasn’t the AG taken any one of the captured to court? Don’t they have people in custody?

    Who has access to the chemical? I don’t think it is made in Zambia.

  2. Since when did Zambians become so barbaric as to burn someone? Oh my goodness! There is no gas ,no-one has died of gassing so why do mobs keep killing innocent people. stealing out of poverty does not deserve one to be burnt to death. The person who ignited the fire should be arrested. No -one has the right to enter hospitals and kill a patient. The minister of health has to provide some direction as to security in hospitals. ..The IG has been so silent. Do we have leadership in the police force?

  3. Criminal have taken advantage to steal and kill innocent people. This criminality has been well planed to bring confusion in the country. Police , what are you doing, what are you investigating ? – now its a month since gassing started. Please arrest the sponsor asap.

  4. My foot! concerned? Concerned? They should disgusted at the evil lot that we have become. Dragging a person from the hospital bed to set him alive on fire? Zambia, Not even south Africa, whom we think are evil, have ever reached this evil.

  5. By and large this is a good statement from the HRC only thing they should’ve added is the word “alledged” before the word gassing. It has not yet been verified that any real deliberate act of gassing has actually happened. Please act professionally are you not lawyers? As lawyers you know the importance of proof and evidence to support accusations. The one and only serious issue to address here is the criminal instant justice gangs attacking innocent people, this should be the main area of concern not gassing which may not have even occurred until it is verified, even if it is verified which I doubt it will the damage it has caused is nothing compared to what these instant justice criminals are doing.

  6. @truth hates which gassing? Have you seen or smelt the gas? Have you read a lab report? Let’s be reasonable here and not add to lies and rumours. I don’t believe there has been any gassing at all only fear mongering from misguided elements in both the ruling party and opposition that have caused this panic for the sake of gaining political mileage.

  7. We told , we have been telling you, lungus leadership is a disaster, he has destroyed the fabric of this once great nation….

    Many pro PF and lungu bloggers thought some of us are just bitter and support HH ?

    No…..that is not the case.

    Now look, people are being burned alive in your streets for the first time since 1964…

    Even during the fight for independence , this has never happened.

  8. I never thought I belonged to such a barbaric society. It is sad. We just have fake Christians in my country. I will remember this till I die but I will continue praying for this country which has lost its soul simply to fight for money and leadership that will take them nowhere. God will indeed make people harming others perish. UBWINA AFRICA,UBUTUUTU. God redeem us.

  9. Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wazabanga or “the almighty conqueror who goes conquest after conquest leaving fire in his wake.”

    Mobutu Sese Seko . A man who ruined his country, Mobutu ruled with brutality, corruption, and extreme case of narcissism. He also arrested and killed rivals and political opponents and elections were rigged..Much of the foreign wealth in the country that his government took channeled to his pockets. He also squandered profits from his country’s exports. He sold Zaire’s huge diamond, cobalt, and copper to western countries and kept much if not all proceeds. Instead of giving the benefits or profits of his economic policies to his impoverished people, he funneled it to his own bank accounts. Mobutu used sheer brutality and ruthlessness in order to maintain control over the government, military, and his people. SOUNDS FAMILIAR RIGHT?

  10. Hard to believe where we have reached as a country. Everybody is now talking ritual killings and bloodshed. I may not be there physically but as a 100% Zambian, I’m equally affected and deeply concerned about my own people.

    This is a time which calls for togetherness amongst ALL Zambians accross political, tribal or denominational lines. No use even pointing fingers at the leadership as if it will make things better. A governement can only be successful if it has full support of the people. If we don’t unite and rally behind our government in their efforts to root out this scourge of evil from our society, we may never again be able to enjoy the peace and freedom that we once very much treasured and enjoyed in our beloved nation.

    • Yes, but the government must lead first and people follow. But for now the leader is everywhere, not directing people in any direction at all and Commander in Chief is very Ziiiii on this. So on what full support should the people give when the government has not taken any one position. Police are saying “no ritual killings” reported, “No gasses found”. Some politicians are saying ” we are closing up on you”.. Others are saying “we need a day of prayer”.. All confusing to people and the last thing is they feel compelled to take the “law in their hands”

  11. @spaka you can’t blame the ruling party alone for this situation, HH has been part and parcel of the panic and hysteria we are seeing, just go and read his statements regarding the same, and this is the man who wants to become President? Why isn’t he telling his supporters in Southern Province to stop mounting illegal roadblocks and to stop burning police stations, why is he just talking about bringing in S.Yard to carry out a pointless investigation when we all know the more pressing matter is the criminal instant justice gangs that are killing innocent people.

  12. Please Zambia stop this! Monga ni ku South Africa? This is the result of allowing unqualified little boys to be organizing parties.

  13. CITY MARKET IN LUSAKA WAS BURNT, MASALA MARKET IN NDOLA WAS BURNT, AND MANY OTHER PLACES WERE GUTTED BY FIRE. ASSURANCES OF INVESTIGATIONS WERE MADE. NO ONE HAS BEEN CONVINCINGLY ARRESTED AND CONVICTED. WHEN GASSING BEGUN, IT WAS BLAMED ON FAKE PASTORS BUT THE ISSUE IS CHANGING TO INCLUDE THE OPPOSITION. SURELY DOES THE PRESIDENT WHO HAS ALL RESOURCES BE LEFT TO GUESS WORK ON SUCH SERIOUS NATIONAL MATTERS? EVEN OFFERING A REWARD? WHERE ARE THE ADVISERS?

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