Seven NGOs call on AU, SADC, Commonwealth to review Zambia’s human rights record

As the Zambia Police arrest and charge Zambia’s opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, seven (7) Civil Society Organisations in Zambia have called upon the Zambia’s Human Rights Commission, Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, the Commonwealth and other human rights defenders to review Zambia’s human rights records and denounce the violation by the Zambian Government.

The organisations also called upon the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to cancel by-elections in Livingstone and Mpongwe in accordance with Section 28 of the Electoral Act No. 12 of 2002. And the ECZ has since postponed the Livingstone By-election to March 14, 2013.

Reading the statement during the Press Briefing at FODEP House in Lusaka on behalf of the seven organisations the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) President Andrew Ntewewe, called on the Deputy Inspector General of Police to immediately resign for violating fundamental political rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Zambia when he banned political rallies in the Livingstone.

The organizations have advised the Zambian Police Command to resist the temptation of turning the Police Service into a unit similar to NAZI’s Gestapo under Hitler in Germany.

The seven organisations have taken a swipe at the Zambia Police for their continued unprofessionalism in handling matters that border on freedom of expression, assembly, movement and association.

The organisations that appended their signatures to the statement included; Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), Operation Young Vote (OYV), Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP), Southern Centre for Construction Resolutions of Disputes (SACCORD), Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) and the Zambia National Women’s Lobby Group (ZNWLG)