ACTING President Guy Scott has pledged to uphold human rights as the nation holds its presidential election on January 20, 2015.
And United Nations Resident Representative Janet Rogan has called on Zambians to exercise their right to vote in the forthcoming presidential election.
Dr Scott, however, observed that Zambians are too good at talking, instead of attending to basic issues like human rights of children.
He said this during the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day under the theme ‘Human Rights 365’ at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka yesterday.
He said instead of talking, people must concentrate on protecting human rights of women, children and those in prison.
Dr Scott said people must be wary of human rights abuses during political campaigns, as this is rife during elections.
He made reference to the experience he encountered during the Patriotic Front (PF) general conference in Kabwe.
“I am the so-called acting President but no action has been taken to attackers of the delegates to the conference I called for,” he said.
He said delegates from Livingstone were attacked by thugs at the Lusaka Intercity Bus Terminus.
Dr Scott said this is political violence that violates people’s human rights, mostly during elections.
Ms Rogan said article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is most relevant to Zambia in this time of presidential election.
Ms Rogan said the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government, which will
Scott pledges human rights protection be expressed in periodic and genuine elections.
“Zambia is a long-standing example of peaceful democratic transition on the African continent,” she said.
Ms Rogan also said the UN system will continue to provide every support to Zambia towards criminalisation of torture and degrading and inhuman treatment.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Commission director Florence Chibwesha said the commission is saddened by the level of human rights violations.
Ms Chibwesha said the commission is also saddened at the continued torture by State agents that sometimes result in permanent disability and maladministration of justice.
She said the increasing number of human rights violation cases are a source of worry and need to be addressed.
Zambia Daily Mail