Human Rights Commission bemoans unabated rights abuse in Zambia

Police arrest Pilato, Laura Miti

THE Human Rights Commission (HRC) has bemoaned of the escalating rate on the abrogation of citizens’ rights in the country despite its existence to curb the vice in the country.

Commission chairperson, Mudford Mwandenga says it was saddening to note that people’s rights were still being violated in the country despite the existence of the HRC mandated to guard citizens from any of deprivation of their fundamental entitlements.

Mr. Mwandenga lamented that despite the commission having been mandated to fight human rights abuses under the 1996 Act 39, the entity has still
been perceived to be ‘toothless’ to deal with such violations.

He has called for improvement of strides that would guarantee the fundamental freedoms and rights of people in the country.

The human rights chief said abrogation of children’s rights especially on early child marriages among girls was still rampant coupled with political violence, the application of the Public Order Act (POA), labour related incidents and deplorable police cells and prisons, a scenario he described that it leaves much to be desired.

He said the commission is saddened over the failure to incorporate the social, economic and cultural aspects of the bill of rights in 2016.

Mr. Mwandenga made the observations when he paid a courtesy call on Kalomo district commissioner, Cosmas Chiiba in the company of his director, Florence Chibwesha who are on a familiarization tour of Southern province to enhance and strengthen linkages with its various stakeholders in upholding citizens’ rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chiiba has called on the commission to consider establishing its offices in districts as opposed being in provincial centres to effectively address the challenges of human rights violations. The commission is currently having offices in six provinces in the country.