There is no violation of human rights in Western Province – Mwamba

Western Province Permanent Secretary has dismissed allegations that Government security wings in the province are violating the rights of citizens.

Reacting to the Zambia Episcopal Conference Pastoral Letter released by the Catholic Church which alleged that there are serious human rights violations currently prevailing in the Western Province,  Mwamba said the claim by the ZEC were not true.

Mwamba who served as late President Frederick Chiluba said only 25 people have been arrested in two separate operations that were already made known to the country. He told a media briefing in Mongu Tuesday that government is determined to put to an end to the era of suspicion and create a conducive environment that borders on dialogue with the church and the community in the province.

The Pastoral letter by Catholic Bishops released a fortnight ago stated as quoted below.

We are greatly disturbed about events surrounding the Barotseland situation in the Western Province. We are aware of a climate of intimidation and serious human rights violations currently prevailing in the Western Province: abductions of citizens; arbitrary arrests and individuals being subjected to long periods of interrogations, even torture. These acts are totally unacceptable. They must stop forthwith. This country is not in a state of emergency. We are not convinced that a de facto state of emergency should therefore exist in the Western Province.”

We reiterate the call we made in our Pastoral Statement (That they may have abundant life, 29 January 2012) for the current administration to work with all stakeholders towards creating a more conducive environment that would lead to the amicable resolution of all matters surrounding the Barotseland situation.

We further urge all our leaders to especially avoid making unsubstantiated alarming statements and threats as these only serve to block opportunities for dialogue” Stated 6.0 of the ZEC Pastoral Letter.