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The Police Treated Chishimba Kambwili’s Wife in A Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Manner-Human Rights Commission

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By Mweelwa Muleya

The Human Rights Commission wishes to put it on record that the Zambia Police Service treated the National Democratic Congress (NDC) President, Dr. Chishimba Kambwili’s wife in a cruel, inhuman and degrading manner when they were apprehending her at the Lusaka Magistrate Court premises in Lusaka on 20th October 2020.

Acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of individuals or suspects are absolutely prohibited under Article 15 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia and under International Human Rights Law.

Therefore, the State violated Mrs. Kambwili’s right to protection from inhuman or any form of ill-treatment regardless of the alleged offence she may have committed. Further, the Commission considers the Police action against Mrs. Kambwili to have been excessive and disproportionate to her alleged action. Police action was not only unlawful and a violation of human rights but unnecessary, unreasonable and unjustifiable in a democratic state such as Zambia in which human rights are supposed to be respected and protected.

There are no circumstances under which acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of suspects are justifiable. Such acts are universally absolutely prohibited and Zambia should not be seen to be among Pariah States where respect for human rights is concerned.

The Commission wishes to make it abundantly clear that it is not in any way against the maintenance of law and order as that is a constitutional mandate of the Zambia Police Service, which is also central to the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms. The Commission’s point of departure is when the police engages in acts of human rights violations.

The Police can still be firm and effective in executing their mandate without being brutal against suspects, particularly unarmed, defenseless and vulnerable individuals such as women and children.

It is regrettable that acts of police brutality against individuals continue unabated and are somewhat increasingly becoming the new normal of police operations during crowd management. Such impunity has resulted in numerous cases of gross violation of human rights, including the right to life through extra-judicial killings of citizens at the hands of police officers.

The Commission calls upon the Government, which has the trio primary obligation of respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights, to demonstrate leadership towards ending acts of police brutality which are giving a wrong impression that Zambia is steadily becoming a police state.

The Commission wishes to take this opportunity to remind both the State and Non-State Actors that under no circumstances are acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment permissible under both national and international human rights laws. Therefore, such acts reflect the extent to which the rule of law, constitutionalism and human rights are being violated.

Zambia is a party to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Government, therefore has an obligation to prevent such acts and/or punish perpetrators of such acts to end impunity, and also take remedial measures in protection of victims.

The author is the Spokesperson for the HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

42 COMMENTS

  1. Why is it that human rights groups only speak when a high profile person is involved?

    My understanding is that no one is allowed to slap a police officer in uniform.

    Mrs kambwili is playing politics here and u mr human rights commissioner u falling for it.

    Get life and let her get what she deserves. She started it ok.

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  2. Hopefully the irony of brutality from this government will not visit our Human Rights Commission spokesperson in the form of the much abused call out or indeed a horde of cadres with stones. How have we maintained a Minister in charge of the police with the checkered life he has? How have we sunk this low?

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  3. “…..and unjustifiable in a democratic state such as Zambia in which human rights are supposed to be respected and protected…..”

    Under lungu , Zambia as a democratic state are in name only…….

    The man has messed up the country in every aspect …..economic…democratic ….corruption index ….political violence…

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  4. The citizens must rise against the police that is when you see justice for else sit and be tormented.

    Zambia is governed by terrorist funders and don’t expect to enjoy any kind freedom with this regime.

    PF must go!

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  5. The conduct of the police towards both Mrs Kambwili and the young man they put in strangle-hold outside Kabwata police station was heavy handed despicable and horrible. I recall as a family member going to the high court several times during the trial of the attempted coup plotters in early 1980s, we were treated with diginity, you could go in and litsen to the trial in public gallery and bid farewell as they are taken back to prison after each appearance, we gathered and mingled in the car pack before and after as families, at no time were we roughed up by the police, yet this was during KK whom we termed a dictator. Also the police never appeared at high court premises dressed like they are preparing for war, yet this was during KK and trial of coup plotters. In short situation…

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  6. I’m not a fun of ZP but this lady should not abuse her husband’s name. You slap a cop in US and see if you will live another day. We should not find excuses for wrong doing, we are setting a very bad precedent. Kambwili should have been arrested a long time ago together with his thieving friends. We the people of Zambia need to crack down on thieves to bring back sanity in Zambia.

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  7. Mrs Kambwili should take things easy. She should relax the way Mrs Hichilema conducted herself in a calm manner during the incarceration of her hubby. If she did slap a police officer in uniform and on duty she’s definitely in trouble. She’s making things more difficult for her husband than they are.

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  8. Before you criticise Mrs Kambwili though neither her nor the husband I support, what if she was provoked by the cop and what if she wrong?

    Let’s be slow in critizing and wait to hear from both sides in court if at all will reach there.

    I can’t and I will never take it kind to a person who provokes me and miss my punch whether president, soldier, police whether one kills me I will fight back etc.

    Just because the police officer is uniform and must not be slapped that is nosense. I slap if you wrong badly that’s it.

    For Mrs Kambwili to react with a slap the cop might uttered vulger language either to her or her husband.

    PF must go!

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  9. So Mr Human rights are you telling us that police officers are not human and have no rights at all. Only highly profile people have human rights.

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    • Good question my friend,so for him it fine to slap the police officer…he is forgetting one thing the officer is someone’s son , husband or dad.how many people are prison for that , what is so special about this family if he was guilty let him face the law like any other person

  10. It seems a lot of people don’t know what human rights are.
    Firstly police officers are humans not one person denies that.
    It is regrettable if a police officer was indeed assaulted but how they reacted shows that ZP officers lack necessary human rights training.
    Reacting too quick as ZP did yesterday makes whatever actions they took become vengeance and not policing.

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  11. Kambwili wlfe was out of order to slap a police officer and then resist arrest. In America she would be a dead woman by now. That uniform is representative of order and need to be respected. All these years she has been living apart from her husband and the moment he is arrested she magically loves him so much to fly back and slap an officer? Let her face the law. I hope the officer pursues her for assault. The officer is a human too. Just because you come from UK does not mean an officer is below you. Would she do that in UK? Is she still Mrs kambwili or limbi she is now mrs oguchekeke . Because such behaviour is not zambian. We hope she has reflected over night and that she issues an apology to the officer.
    Me as a kid nenzo menya bantu 7 at the same time. But when an officer spoke…

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  12. Cont: spoke to me, I obeyed. She needs to be re educated on zambian manners. It is clear for all to see that kambwili failed to discipline or manage his family. He has failed to instill good values in his kids and wlfe. This is what happens when you think success is moving your family to UK.

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  13. UNIVERSAL LAW: When anyone slaps a police officer, the police automatically take you in custody. Then an arrest will follow before you CAN appear in court for a remand. A POLICE OFFICER IS A REPRESENTATIVE OF A HEAD of state.

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  14. let the officer push the assault case to court so that they she have new home with the husband because that is what she planned for. She thinks beating police officer shows that she is iron Lady.

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  15. KZ, maybe you need to get your wife to speak to Mrs Kambwili, kaili they live in the same country and you seem to be experienced on how once should behave. You better start preparing yourself because you are also on our watch list for thieving politicians. We are coming for you ka mudala iwe!

  16. KZ, maybe you should get your wife to speak to Mrs Kambwili, kaili they live in the same country and you seem to be experienced on how one should behave. You better start preparing yourself because you are also on the list of thieving politicians. We are coming for you. No pressure anso.

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  17. Who would belive these PF caders in police uniform saying Mrs kambwili dlsped one of them ??????

    I do no belive she did.

    I belive she refused to be turned away from the courts where her husband was being sentenced…..

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  18. Clearly this treatment of Mrs Kambwili and Kambwili’s daughter by police demonstrates that in Zambia some police men and women dont understand that as duty bearers, they have a particular obligation or responsibility to respect, promote, protect and realise human rights and to abstain from human rights violations. The HRC and other concerned citizens are right in demanding full accountability from police who are not only failing to fulfill their obligation in respecting, promoting and protecting human rights but are in fact the ones violating human rights of Mrs Kambili and her daughter.

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  19. Hello Zambia. May I honestly request that the truth be told of the genesis of this inhuman treatment by the zp. Can someone share on the footage of the allege act-slapping the police. We have all watched the other animal behaviour of the police.
    There are already two version of stories that she didt slap the police however through wrestling out of zp hands. Others guess from zp, it was intentional.

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  20. KZ, you should not rat yourself. PF HAS FORGOTTEN THAT THE TECHNOLOGY IS VAST AND ALL THESE PEOPLE BEING HARRASSED CKIPS ARE BEING TAKEN AND WILL BE BROUGHT BEFORE THEM AND ALL THE CASES WILL FALL UNDER ONE LEADERS AND THAT IS EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU AND WILL BE CAGED LIKE THEY DID WITH THE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT.
    EVERYTHING RISES AND FALLS ON THE LEADERSHIP. THE JUNIOR POLICE OFFICERS SHALL SAY WE WORKED UNDER INSTRUCTIONS AND ONE MAY ASK BY SAYING WHERE ARE THESE INSTRUCTIONS COMING FROM?

  21. Mrs CK did not slap any PF cader in police uniform , it is a lie.

    She refused to be turned away from attending her husband’s court appearance….

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  22. KZ, you should not rat yourself. PF HAS FORGOTTEN THAT THE TECHNOLOGY IS VAST AND ALL THESE PEOPLE BEING HARRASSED CLIPS ARE BEING TAKEN ALL OVER AND WILL BE BROUGHT BEFORE THEM AND ALL THE CASES WILL FALL UNDER ONE LEADERS AND THAT IS EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU AND WILL BE CAGED LIKE THEY DID WITH THE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT. NO NEED OF HAVING QUESTIONS LIKE WHERE IS ZNBC CAMERAS, WE HAVE ALL SMART PHONES AND NOT ONLY THAT BUT ALSO OTHER GADGETS LIKE CAMERA PENS, WATCHES ETC.
    EVERYTHING RISES AND FALLS ON THE LEADERSHIP. THE JUNIOR POLICE OFFICERS SHALL SAY WE WORKED UNDER INSTRUCTIONS AND ONE MAY ASK BY SAYING WHERE ARE THESE INSTRUCTIONS COMING FROM?

  23. To be clear and perhaps to help the downvotes I have above (at 2. I think) — I am not attacking the person of the Minister. I am attacking his record in running the Ministry, particularly the Police. So far the checkered behavior has been threats, police action that is disproportionate, embarrassing mistreatment of visitors (you have turned back a fair share of international visitors willy-nilly). I don’t know who he is personally; the buck stops at him when his ministry misbehaves, before it finally laps at the shores of State House itself. That is the perspective. So chill…

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  24. A police officer is a person and it’s very normal to be slapped when they error. Honestly! Can a slap from a women assault a man? How many punches have we received in life as boys, men without being assaulted? Except a broiler child is the one who has got such history. The police service of Zambia is just another thing with ignorance at it’s peak

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  25. So Mr Human rights is only concerned with Mrs Kambwili’s rights and not the Police officer’s rights who is also human, he was slapped, why have you not condemned Mrs. Kambwili’s conduct of assaulting a police officer on duty. Unfortunately when SOME people leave abroad they think people back home are trash, they come back and have the audacity of even slapping a police officer in uniform. Slapping an officer in uniform be it Police, Army or Air force officer is tantamount to slapping the commander in Chief. I wish her luck.

    So, if she resisted arrest what did you want the police officers to do? Kneel down and start pleading with her to accompany them to the police? See how some people are apprehended by Police in developed countries, What human rights are there?

  26. Where is my country gone?
    Are the people in charge TRULY Zambian?
    We really need to check the genetic backgrounds of these people ruling us. They do not seem to care at all about Zambia. We have Angolans masquerading as Lozis, Luvales and Lundas, Congolese as Bembas, Kaondes and Lambas, Tanzanians as Lungus, Mambwes, and Bisa, Malawians as Nyikas, Tumbuka, Senga, Chewa and Nsenga, Mozambicans as Soli and Kunda, Zimbabweans as Tongas, Tokas and Leyas, Namibians as Lozis.

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  27. Dickens Mwaze – It is not about the impact of the slap but the disrespect of slapping a police officer on duty. Much as you ask whether a slap from a woman can assault a man, also ask yourself then whether what you are saying is that it is okay for a woman to slap a man.

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  28. This is just utterly sad!!! No woman deserves to be roughed up, regardless of the circumstances. We are mothers for crying out loud!!! I hope all goes well for her, she’s going through a lot; I can only imagine her pain!!! My best wishes go out to you Madam.

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  29. The Zambian police have always been out of pocket and rough. Let’s not pretend that police officers world over don’t have a sense of entitlement. Something about the police throughout history feels wrong. They even slapped Jesus. Let our leaders open their eyes and change the police service to serve citizens. Then again why did she slap an officer.

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  30. Gayzar Zulu, you are on the list of PF thieves, do you be silent until you are in front of the judge condemning you to life in prison together with your boss Edgar China Lungu

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  31. @KZ seems to think that being killed for slapping a police officer is justifiable. What callous ignorance. He doesn’t point out the retaliation of the same police who are expected to restrain themselves and behave professionally. Anyone who acts violently of course has to be restrained – but reasonably and appropriately and charged accordingly. A police officer retaliating with the same violence (slapping) is not justifiable. He was not even under serious threat here.

  32. TWO WRONGS CANNOT MAKE A RIGHT. MRS CK WAS PROBABLY WRONG BY SLAPPING A POLICE OFFICER IN UNIFORM. BUT POLICE OFFICERS ARE PROFESSIONALS WHO SHOULD NOT BE REACTING UNCONTROLLABLY. THE POOR UNARMED WOMAN IS GOING THROUGH A LOT. THE POLICE WITH THEIR TRAINING COULD HAVE ARRESTED HER WTHOUT TUGGING HER LIKE A COW BEING DRUGGED TO THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE. THATS OUR FRIENDS WIFE.

  33. It has actually emerged that Mrs Kambwili didn’t slap any police officer – she has even challenged anyone with that video evidence to produce it. Meanwhile, they were subjected with her daughter to the typical lawlessness of the PF purchased police. No arrest formalities or clear charges, physically abused, threatened and denied basic humane facilities – including the brazen police admission that they are ‘acting under instructions’.
    You PF psychopaths’ on this blog who celebrate the dehumanization of citizens by your self proclaimed ‘humble’ leader – a wolf in a sheep’s skin, a pseudo ‘Christian’, how do you sleep? The only reason there hasn’t yet been a revolution is because of your systematic short term bribes to the rural population, control of the police, an inept and…

  34. “Harold Muna” Mrs CK was probabably wrong by slapping a police officer in Uniform” excuse me, if this is what diaspora is all about then I do not want to be one. Is it because this family of CK has been in bed with your president HH. It can’t be right to slapp a law enforcement officer whether in Uniform or not. If the British politice, your colonial masters allow their police to be slapped by the wives of convicted criminals then consider staying there and don’t come back. This is very artificial whatever you call it in your colonial master’s country. Please don’t bring it here. We do not want our police officer to be slapped by wives of convicted criminals. You would probably consider it an offence if your “god” president was in state house.

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