Monday, May 20, 2024

The international community should help to force Hichilema repeal the remaining oppressive laws

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By Venus N Msyani

While in opposition President Hakainde Hichilema promised to repeal and get rid of all laws undermining human rights in Zambia. He hasn’t repealed all yet and he is showing no sign he is ready to do that. The international community can help to force him do.

No need to explain. Hichilema was referring to Pubic Order Act, Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act, Criminal Defamation of the President, and others such as the Penal Code.

Six months into his presidency, Hichilema seemed completely forgotten about the promise. On March 10th 2022, while addressing Parliament on the progress made in the application of National Values and Principles Hichilema even threatened to apply existing laws to deal with social media abuse.

The threat exposed hypocrisy because Hichilema administration had not passed any law to deal with social media abuse. It was clear Hichilema was referring to existing Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act. The laws he promised to get rid of after being elected into office.

Local groups, organizations, and individuals promoting human rights started doubting Hichilema commitment to honor his promise to get rid of all oppressive laws.

Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard appeared to feel the same. After visiting Kenya on her three-nation high level mission to Africa, Callamard travelled to Zambia before proceeding to her final destination South Africa where on March 28th 2022, she was expected to launch Amnesty International global assessment of the state of human rights.

While in Zambia, the Secretary General met with President Hichilema in the capital Lusaka. Callamard counselled Hichilema to move with speed in honoring his commitment to human rights.

In December 2022, President Hichilema abolished the death penalty and repealed criminal defamation of the president. Public Order Act, and Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act were spared. They continue to undermine human rights in Zambia.

The country democracy process is under threat. Freedom of expression, assembly, and association continue to be undermined. Zambians are being denied permit to protest. Opposition cannot gather and mobilize their parties.

People are avoiding to offer checks and balances. They are afraid of being arrested for hate speech, facing prolonged detention in poor detention facilities, and cruel treatment while under detention.

Torture allegations are being reported. Recently, opposition leaders by the name Sean E Tembo fell sick while in detention. He spent five days in custody. In short, Tembo was detained beyond what the law requires. Human rights experts will agree this too amounts to torture.

It is very clear President Hichilema and his administration has forgotten about his promise on human rights. Another meeting with Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard could help. Hichilema must move with speed to repeal Pubic Order Act, and Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act.

27 COMMENTS

  1. When were these laws passed? Public Order Act, and Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act.?
    You mean all these years they never undermined human rights in Zambia?
    HH has only been in power for 2 years and you want him to be your political robot?

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    • Please don’t twist matters. HH cried foul against these laws and vowed to repeal them?
      By the same token I ask you how long have the capital (death) punishment been in our laws? But with white gloved hands he abolished it in seconds.

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    • Piranha please read the article again and stop being emotional. The article says these laws have been in existence for decades but HH promised to repeal them when he was in opposition.
      In short the writer wants to know if the President is still going to honour his promise and when.

    • DURING THEIR TWO TERMS, THE PF ENJOYED USING AND APPLYING THE SAME LAWS,THEY EVE USED THE SAME LAWS TO SUPPRESS CITIZENS IN TWIST OF CORRUPTION AND THIEGERY OF NATIONAL WEALTH

  2. ………

    “…..People are avoiding to offer checks and balances. They are afraid of being arrested for hate speech,……”

    I have never heard such crap before……..

    You mean you can’t offer checks and balances without being civil ?
    Without insults ?, without tribal attacks ?

    That is the problem zambia faces, the PF want to be lawless and operate like animals…….

    If you can’t keep your selves in check and want to behave like animals , some laws must be left to make sure you act like human beings in a normal society

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  3. ECL admin was more brutal than HH’s. Hard to comprehend why you must speak the loudest when human rights violation was at its peak in the immediate passed admin.

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  4. Every country and even corporate companies continue to strengthen their Cyber laws/rules, similar to Zambia’s “Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act.”
    But . here in Zambia, the political clowns are asking the government to repeal them. Serious?
    There is no international organization that will help you repeal the “Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act. “, forget it !!

    This is a joke.

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  5. Zambians woke up to realise they have voted in a worse evil psychopath in hh. High cost of living and now poor human rights and destroying opposition. Hh will refuse to handover power when he loses in 2026. Luckily nili na revolver to shoot him when he refuses. Two billets to head. Bang bang

    • Kaizer sorry but just asking. I heard Simon is saying on his platform that, courting is looking for you and you went hiding, so they are trying to arrest someone who bailed you out. Is this true. Please don’t insult me. I am just asking.

    • @Kaizar “Kalya-Nyoko” Zulu” 1) The cost of living is high because your Party of Fools borrowed and stole US $31 billion dollars of the worst sort of loans. The debtors have now come to collect and they are demanding that the subsidies of food be used to pay them their debt. The high prices are your fault. 2) You government of violent tribalist thugs killed with wantonness and abandon anyone not a member of their tribe who opposed them. 3) Your party put HH in jail 15 times. 4) You enacted all the laws that you now claim to hate and oppose . 5)You are not going to win in 2026, and Lungu will not be allowed to run for president again, so try to rally behind Miles Sampa…

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  6. No sane leader will remove laws serving interests of that same leader.
    We have 7 past republican presidents and none ever wanted to bite the finger that feeds his continued stay on leadership. We need a miracle for those laws to change. Mind you, the US and EU have their own laws (like woke or LGB.TQ) which they want us to repeal or includede, but we refused them. Why would they care when you are a sovereign state to redress, for example, the POA?

  7. No sane leader will remove laws serving interests of that same leader.
    We have 7 past republican presidents and none ever wanted to bite the finger that feeds his continued stay on leadership. We need a miracle for those laws to change.
    That is MY POINT for My Zambia

  8. Within one year + of being in power he has repealed the death penalty and defarmation of President law which his 5 predecessors failed to do in their 10 years in office. He has three years to go. Still he is a bad President ?

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  9. Every succesive leader when in opposition talks about repeating these laws. Once in government they realize why they need them.

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