The Human Rights Commission of Zambia is demanding that the police carry out a serious investigation of a killing of a Patrotic Front (PF) cadre in Livingstone, professionally and impartiality, so that they do not end up making arbitrary arrests.
The Commission is concerned with the unfair conduct of stakeholders involved in both the Livingstone and Mpongwe by-elections campaigns.
This is contained in a media statement released by the Human Rights Commission Head of Information, Publicity and Training department Samuel Kasankha in Lusaka.
“We urge them to be firm but fair and professional so that they do not end up making arbitrary arrests and in the process victimizing innocent people. The Commission is closely monitoring the situation and will update the public on any worthwhile developments,” reads part of the statement.
Kasankha said the Human Rights Commission was disappointment over the continued unfair practices by different stakeholders, which in one way or another, could have contributed negatively towards the holding of free and fair elections in the Mpongwe and Livingstone parliamentary by elections taking place on February 28, 2013.
“The Commission, which had a physical presence in both constituencies during the latter part of the campaigns, notes with regret that clashes between and attacks on members of opposing political parties continued to be reported throughout the campaigns. It is most unfortunate, and indeed a negation of the democratic tenets which the multiparty system we have adopted stands for, that political parties, or some of their members, should believe in the use of coercion, force or instilling fear, as a way of gaining political advantage, particularly with regard to putting favored candidates into elective political office,” Kasankha said in the media statement.
He said the Human Rights Commission condemned in the strongest terms, the clashes between PF and United Party for National Development cadres which led to the death of one PF cadre on the night of Monday February 25 in Livingstone.
“This being the second straight by election in which a life has been lost in similar circumstances, must give all of us extra resolve to bring to an end all violence during campaigns,” he said.
Kasankha said political parties and other stakeholders in the elections must make it a priority to sensitize their members on the dangers of violence because, if not contained, it could escalate and create protracted violent conflict.