Friday, February 23, 2024

HRC condemns the beating up of youths for insulting HH


The Human Rights Commission has strongly condemned the ill- treatment of youths suspected to have defamed President Hakainde Hichilema by the Zambia Army officers in Chiengi District of Luapula Province on 15th June 2022.

In a statement, Commission Chairperson Mudford Mwandenga said the Commission is shocked and gravely concerned at the apparent lack of remorse by the Zambian Army as evidenced by the justification of the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of the youths through a media report attributed to the Director General for Civil Military Affairs, Brigadier General Genoh Muke.

Mr. Mwandenga said torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is absolutely prohibited under international and regional human rights instruments that Zambia is a party to as well as under Article 15 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission is of the view that even a “few slaps” can and do amount to brutality contrary the position taken by the Zambia Army. It is, therefore, deeply regrettable that the Zambia Army can attempt to justify a violation of the Constitution and human rights, in a democracy such as Zambia.”

He added, “ the Commission wishes to explicitly state that it does not support any form of hate speech such as insulting language, expression of hatred, discrimination and any form of expression that violates the rights and reputation of any individual because that is outside the ambit of freedom of expression and opinion. However, respect for the rule of law, human rights and constitutionalism, which the New Dawn Government espouses to uphold, demands that suspects should be subjected to the due process of the law.”

“In this case, Law Enforcement Agencies are mandated to apprehend or arrest suspects and facilitate their appearance before the courts of law within twenty-four hours or as is reasonably practicable or consider granting them bond as provided for under section 33 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia. It is only the courts of law that are legally mandated to hand down prescribed punishment/s to suspects (which incidentally does not include a “few slaps”) when they are convicted of an offence, as guided by Article 18 of the Constitution.”

Mr. Mwandenga said the Commission is closely monitoring the case involving the youths with a view of ensuring that their rights to liberty and to secure protection of the law as enshrined under Articles 13 and 18 of the Constitution are upheld and protected.


  1. The youth should be warned against being used for expedience. You have a whole future ahead of you which probably extends beyond Levy, RB, ECL and HH.

  2. I suppose Sean Tembo is making waves, he was right to call out the HRC on their silence on the matter.
    Whilst I applaud these sentiments by HRC, some action would be better. Lately HRC seems to provide a mere academic service by pointing out what is clearly in the law.
    I will be impressed if I see them take action.
    Additionally, I would be more impressed if the police, on their own initiative, take action and arrest the soldiers.
    My biggest fear has always been that such cases die out naturally.

    • They were toothless when Gary Nkombo broke the law. Not asking for the law to take its course.
      Even the journalists haven’t asked Nkombo’s employer if he allows breaking the country’s laws by his cabinet
      So seeing what’s happening to Kambwili we should only expect Gary to be arrested by the new government in 2026?

  3. Violent PF bandits of visionless Lungu~sha economy and buffoonery charlatans must respect elders, and people in authority.

    PF violent bandits can’t believe it that they are out of power, and with freedom of speech or expression under the new dawn UPND leadership of HH, all they can do is insults.

    The Skeleton Key

  4. I shall never support wrong attitudes. I saw those delinquent boys insulting the President and his mother for no apparent reason. The insults were very strong. They deserve to be punished.

    • We have procedures. We not a failed state. This tantamount to allowing security agents to be law unto themselves. We have reformatory facilities for juvenile delinquents. What happened is not acceptable under whatever circumstances.

    • Punished by who? We are a civilized society. The punishment takes place according to our constitution.

  5. The same f00I hh who criticised the defamation law and preached about freedom of speech and human rights today is quiet. When it suits him he is OK with violence against those excervising their rights. I will pay for the best lawyers for these honest brave young men.

  6. Soldiers work under orders, so what Brigadier General Muke said was what the juniors were instructed to do. Those soldiers wouldn’t do that without instructions from their superiors

  7. Security wings can tarnish a government’s name by acting recklessly. A statement to distance the government will do clear the air. As it is now everyone in Cheingi will conclude that is the new government policy.

    • But as per usual the ministry of fimo fimo Information or the lack off is silent. Awe elo yazanda nomba.

      i rest my case !!

  8. HH is the best President Zambia will ever have and I am from Nkole mfumu in Kasama, the direction is clear, with PF damage it will get worse before it gets better, what with the vinkhongole the rejected regime left us with. But Soldiers and Police, you have no mandate to beat anyone, you have been cheating yourselves since 1964 that you have such powers when you don’t even have any. It is only the courts that can prescribe punishment if a case is proven beyond any reasonable doubt

    • who askedyouwhere you,’re from? Its because you want to lie. Tell me just one of your relatives in Nkolemfumu cos I know everyone there.

  9. Here is case where one expects human rights championing NGOs to come out strongly and castigate the torture that was meted out on those stupid boys. In fact, lawyers should take up this case and sue the state on behalf of the stupid boys, a case which the state will lose unless we are on another planet. At the same time, let the law take its course on the insulting offence against the stupid boys. But then this is Zambia.

  10. The Zambia army isn’t even a Law Enforcement Agency. Why should they confront any lawbreakers? Democracy yabwela mochedwa?

  11. Beating of those kids, like the soldiers did, is undemocratic, and illegal. Evidently the kids broke the defamation law. Insulting the president like the kids did is morally wrong and unacceptable. But it doesn’t mean you start beating them up like drums. Follow the rule of law. Arrest those kids, while respecting their rights to a fair trial. Bring them before a judge, to decide the fitting punishment. Again the soldiers beating those kids is illegal. If it was in any Western country, those soldiers could’ve been arrested and charged with assault.

  12. Hmmmm………… the moribund HRC has at last found its timid voice, well.. I guess we should be thankful for small mercies!

  13. Am surprised that no one is calling for the arrest of the army officers. They broke the law and they too should be punished.

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