Changala petitions commission amidst sobs

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—-Human Rights Activist, Brebner Changala, this morning briefly broke down in tears when he submitted his petition to the Chomba-led Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission in Kabwata on the conduct of security wings especially the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Zambia Police Service.

And Mr Changala has petitioned the commission to recommend to the State to stop security wings from conducting night raids in
people’s home and compel the State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions to put a life span for a nolle prosequi to be in effect.

Mr. Changala, who started his petition in a jovial and friendly mood, gradually turned angry during his petition and briefly broke down when
he narrated how he was treated by the security wings who he said raided his houses and humiliated him and his family.

Mr Changala accused the State of using the Drug Enforcement Commission, police and the courts to humiliate political opponents by
accusing them of unbailable offences and after detaining and remanding the accused for long periods without proper evidence they enter nolle prosequi which cannot be questioned by anyone.

He observed that DEC has been searching people’s houses for seditious materials without search warrants from the courts while courts
deliberately take long adjournments to frustrate the accused which he said was a violation of human rights.

He recommended to the commission that the powers of the Director of Public Prosecutions should be curtailed so that the DPP should be
giving reasons to the court for entering nolle.

He disclosed that he was a victim of nolle as he has been on five nolle prosequi since 2001 which he said was not safe for any citizen as he
does not know whether he would be re-arrested for the case has been closed which he said the judiciary should revisit to ensure that there is a time frame for nolle.

And Commission Chairperson noted that the abuse of nolle has been a subject of complaint by many petitioners during the commission’s
public sittings, saying it has to be looked at carefully.

Justice Chomba stated that many people in other townships of Lusaka where the commission has held public sittings have already recommended
that a nolle prosequi should have a time frame, a recommendation Mr Changala laboured to explain.

Another petitioner, Chrispine Sichone, submitted that the clause in the Civil Service Disciplinary Code which subjects civil servants
suspected of committing criminal offenses to earn half salary should be
abolished because it contravenes the Article 18 of the Constitution of Zambia which states that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Dr Sichone noted that clause 56 of the Disciplinary Code violates human rights as it takes away part of the income of a civil servant
who is not proven guilty hence it should be abolished.

Dr Sichone also appealed to the judiciary to put a time frame within which a case should be concluded in order to serve on time and
financial resources.