The opposition PF is planning to write to international human rights bodies such as Amnesty International to highlight the plight of its former Secretary General Mumbi Phiri.
Mrs Phiri has spent close to six months at Mongu Remand Prison without trial.
She faces a murder charge which is not bailable.
Information has emerged that her case is yet to be cause listed which implies that she will be held without trial for a much prolonged period.
The PF says Mrs Phiri’s continued stay in prison without facing trial is unfair and an abuse of her human rights.
Former PF Secretary General Davies Mwila revealed in an interview that the party is resolved to have Mrs Phiri’s matter be heard globally.
“This people came in and told the world that they will respect human rights and the rule of law. We want the whole world to know that they are infact throwing political opponents in jail without trial. We will soon be writing to organisations like Amnesty International so that they can intervene in this gross human rights abuse that is going on in Zambia,” Mr Mwila said.
Mr. Phiri said the PF is now demanding that Mrs Phiri be released immediately unconditionally or be taken to court.
He added, “There is no justification for keeping Hon. Phiri in prison for this long without presenting her before a Judge. It’s immoral and unfair. If they know they have no evidence, let them release her immediately.
However, Minister of Justice Mulambo Haimbe has dispelled assertions that the delays to have Patriotic Front (PF)’s Deputy Secretary Mumbi Phiri’s matter come before the courts of law is mere vindictiveness on the part of government.
Mr. Haimbe says government has nothing to do with the judicial process adding that everything happening to the detained PF leader was within the law .
The minister in an interview last evening maintained that no one should assert that the official was being punished.
The law is very clear on procedures regarding such cases related to murder and thus it is important to understand the process.
“This matter has become topical but it is important to understand what is happening,’’ he said.
Mr. Haimbe said the country had different types of offences some of which were bailable and non- bailable.
He said the matter which the embattled PF Deputy Secretary General is facing is a capital offence which cannot be bailed.
He cited treason, murder and aggravated robbery as some of the offences that fall within this category.
Mrs. Phiri stands charged with a non bailable offence of murder contrary to section 200 of the Penal Code; chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Mr. Haimbe stated that according to his understanding, Mrs. Mumbi is charged with a capital offence and in places like Kaoma, there could probably be a number of similar cases.
For anyone who is facing a non bailable offence to appear before the High Court, there is a process that is followed called “Cause Listing.”’
“ The judiciary has a system where it lists cases and it follows that accordingly unless there were compelling circumstances no one can skip the queue,’’ he intoned.
Mr. Haimbe stated whenever one is committed to the high court, that offender has to wait for their turn and she has to wait for her turn when the case comes up for hearing.
“Mrs. Phiri found others who were waiting for trial and that she has to wait for her case to come up,” he stated.
Mr. Haimbe wondered why there should be complaints when President Hakainde Hichilema in 2017 had to wait for 127 days in prison for a case of treason before he could be heard.
“Much as one does not like the idea of waiting for that long, the criminal justice system does not look at faces but is the way it is,” he explained.