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Saturday, April 10, 2021

HRC Calls for Immediate Release of UPND Officials Detained Without Charge for more than Two Weeks Now

Headlines HRC Calls for Immediate Release of UPND Officials Detained Without Charge for...

The Human Rights Commission (HRC or Commission) has called for the immediate release of the four United Party for National Development (UPND) officials who have been detained in Lusaka without charge for more than two weeks now.

Reacting to the detention of former Minister, Mr. Ackson Sejani, Choma Mayor, Mr. Javen Simoloka, Mazabuka Mayor Mr. Vincent Lilanda, and Choma businessman, Mr. Fines Malambo in a statement released to the media today, HRC said that the quartet has been deprived of their right to personal liberty as enshrined under Article 13 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter One of the Laws of Zambia.

HRC further said that acts of prolonged detentions without charge or trial are mainly associated with dictatorial regimes in which political persecution and other forms of human rights violations are rife, adding that Zambia is a democratic state in which respect for the Rule of Law, Constitutionalism and Human Rights must be upheld and such arbitrary detentions should not be allowed to take root.

Below is the full Statement

8th April 2021

Press Statement
For Immediate Release

RELEASE OR TAKE TO COURT THE FOUR UPND OFFICIALS DETAINED WITHOUT CHARGE FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS

The Human Rights Commission (HRC or Commission) calls for the immediate release of the four United Party for National Development (UPND) officials who have been detained in Lusaka without charge for more than two weeks now.

The Zambia Police Service must either grant bond to the former Minister, Mr. Ackson Sejani, Choma Mayor, Mr. Javen Simoloka, Mazabuka Mayor Mr. Vincent Lilanda and Choma businessman, Mr. Fines Malambo or take them to court because keeping them in custody for 17 days without any recourse to the courts of law is unconstitutional and constitutes gross violation of their rights.

The Commission is concerned that the quartet has been deprived of their right to personal liberty as enshrined under Article 13 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter One of the Laws of Zambia. Article 13 of the Bill of Rights, read together with Section 33 of the Criminal Procedure Code Act, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia stipulate that a suspect deprived of their right to personal liberty without a warrant may within 24 hours of being taken into custody either be granted police bond or be taken before a competent court of law or as soon as practicable.

According to the findings of the Commission, all the detained four men are members or sympathisers of UPND based in Mazabuka and Choma Districts of Southern Province respectively but they have been detained in Lusaka for over 17 days without being charged with any offence. This action is unlawful, a violation of human rights and amounts to false imprisonment.

In an unprecedented development, so far efforts by the Commission to execute its constitutional and statutory mandate of visiting persons in detention facilities and seeking redress of human rights violations in this case have been frustrated.

This gives a regrettable impression of a worrying deteriorating human rights situation and it must be redressed because it is not good for national development.

The Commission wishes to advise the police to release the detained men immediately if they do not have any evidence against them or charge and grant them bond or immediately take them to court where they may apply for bail instead of continuing to violate their constitutional and human rights.

Acts of prolonged detentions without charge or trial are mainly associated with dictatorial regimes in which political persecution and other forms of human rights violations are rife.

Zambia is a democratic state in which respect for the Rule of Law, Constitutionalism and Human Rights must be upheld and such arbitrary detentions should not be allowed to take root.

Mweelwa Muleya
Spokesperson
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

21 COMMENTS

  1. The police and the courts are independent. Why do you want to tamper with how they do their work? If they are aggrieved then they can take the matter to court against the police. HRC are useless most of the time.

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  2. What requires to be reformed is the manner in which the Police investigate cases. You can’t detain people indefinitely. That’s not right. Let’s not deal with people as ‘they’ and ‘we’. Suppose you were also detained without charge for such a long time? The Police must only detain people if they have evidence, or alternatively they can seek a restriction order in chambers if they think that the suspects might interfere with investigation if they remain at large. Imagine Kadansa is the President and he has an opportunity to lock up people under the pretext of investigations? There’ll be chaos

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  3. Lungu controlls all the courts and police…….look at the fake cases against CK, those cases will be put on the back burner now to die a silent death……

    90% of cases are political to fix lungus and PF critics or threats to lungis hold on power……

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  4. Lungu controlls all the courts and police…….look at the bogus cases against CK, those cases will be put on the back burner now to die a silent death……

    90% of cases are political to fix lungus and PF critics or threats to lungis hold on power……

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  5. HRC are spot on. What is happening to the 4 detained confirms that Zambia is no longer a Constitutional Democracy under ECL. Rule of Law is no longer being respected, Human are being violated daily. ECL Plans to arrest and detain HH in the same way so that he is barred from filing his Nomination Papers in May 2021. The idea is to remove HH’s name from the Ballot Paper by Hook or Crook so that ECL has no serious Contestant come August 12. ECL knows he can’t win a free and fair Election against HH. Hence they want to incriminate HH so that he is convicted in Court and as a Criminal Convict be barred from contesting the 2021 Elections. Edith Nawakwi is on record saying its her duty to make sure HH is blocked from filing his Nomination Papers. All Election Observers must take note of…

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  6. GOVERNMENT AND COURTS ARE ONE OF THE SAME !! AND WHICH MAGISTRATE OR JUDGE WISHES TO LOSE HIS POSITION BY NOT TOWING THE PARTY LINE ??

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  7. The law provides that anybody arrested by Police should be brought to Court within 48 hrs and the Police must charge the suspect. Once charged the accused should be granted or denied Bail depending on the Charge. Abducting the UPND Officials and detaining them without a charge is unlawful and unconstitutional. Zambia under ECL is now a Banana Republic where Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights are denied Citizens. The Plan is to arrest HH,detain him, Poison him and Convict him. That is why Edith Nawakwi ,the PF Surrogate, says its her duty to block HH from filing his Nomination Papers. ECL should leave HH alone and fight with him thru the Ballot Box. SADC,AU and other Election Observers should take note of this violation of Human Rights.

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  8. kaizer zulu.are you the master brain of confusion or demon possesed charecter.everytime insulting pipo.do u know that there is GOD FAR BEYOND YOUR POWERS ?EVIL MINDS ALWAYS DEMEAN OTHERS.GET IT CLEAR. GOD DISHONOURS THE PRIDE AND EVIL MEN.GOD IS NOT A RISPECTOR MAN.THE EVIL YOU PLAN FOR OTHERS IT WILL EVENTUALLY CACTH UP WITH YOU ONE DAY.LUNGU MUST GO…………..ITS MY PRAYER THAT GOD”S HAND WILL BE RISEN AGAINST THE EVIL MEN IN LEADERSIP.HELL AWAITS SOME OF YOU.

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  9. KZ u should just shut up. The Law requires that a suspect arrested by the Police should be taken to Court within 24 hrs,be charged and be given or denied Bond. The Police is not allowed by Law and Constitution to abduct and detain Citizens for 2 weeks without taking them to Court and charging them for committing a Crime. That is illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of Human Rights. ECL can be reported to ICC for committing crimes against humanity.

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  10. KZ u should just shut up. The Law requires that a suspect arrested by the Police should be taken to Court within 24 hrs,be charged and be given or denied Bond. The Police is not allowed by Law and Constitution to abduct and detain Citizens for 2 weeks without taking them to Court and charging them for committing a Crime. That is illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of Human Rights. ECL can be reported to ICC for committing crimes against humanity.

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  11. Clear case of abrogating the constitution which is the Supreme law of the land. It’s time to sue the state as well as the individual officers involved for illegal detention. That’s the only way they can learn.

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  12. This is the most useless and hypocritical human rights commission ever installed.
    They know that milton hatembo and the sister pheluna have been missing for more than two months all because they accused hh of stealing their land. The commission has said nothing but they are prepared to condemn a lawful arrest of people suspected of perpetrating the kidnap
    What kind of commission is this? Is it a branch of upnd?

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  13. It is the Loo of law. You detain innocent people. You do not suspend your friends because they are innocent until proven guilty. It is a shame that the country is ruled by an officer of the court who has sworn THREE times to uphold the constitution, first as a lawyer and twice as a President.

  14. Civil Society in Zambia is weak – it has been compromised and purchased by the lawless who are in power. So has most of the judiciary, which has the right to demand that people be brought before it in accordance with the provisions of the law or the persons be released. Otherwise in robust societies, there would be continuous outcries and pressure over this. There are so many other people in Zambia going through the same, and many who do not even know their rights.

  15. Keeping a suspect in detention longer than 48 hrs is illegal. The inspector general of police whose institution is holding these people has breached the law but this has no consequences in Zambia.

  16. @Priscilla – this is about following process. The law is clear. You do not detain people perpetually without charge. Charge them and bring them before a court or grant them bond. That is false imprisonment. It is not a ‘lawful arrest’ as you state. They have not been charged – and even after a charge there is the process of whether to grant bail.

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  17. The judge who refused to free them immediately is complicit to denial of basic rights in Zambia. Judicial misconduct has consequences also.

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