By JOHN SAKALA
The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) has condemned the ongoing beating of citizens instigated by Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo.
Mr Lusambo now nicknamed as Boma has been boasting of weeping citizens found on the other side of the presidential directed which forbade opening of bars and night clubs.
The other day he rubbished an appeal from Human Rights Commission Spokesperson Mwelwa Muleya.
And now CiSCA Vice Chairperson Judith Mulenga echoes the words of Human Rights saying the behaviour of Boma is in violations of the rights of citizens.
Ms Mulenga said Boma has given himself a new job of chief enforcer of measures to address COVID 19.
“Minister Lusambo’s beating of people is symptomatic of the absence of a human rights culture, bad governance and poor leadership in Zambia. Our human rights are a birth right and no one has the right to take them away from us even for our so called own good or benefit.
“Our human rights are God given and not bestowed on us by law or even by any political leader no matter how powerful. The law only recognizes rights but it does not confer rights. Therefore, what Minister Lusambo has been doing leading the police in beating up people in public places in order to safeguard our lives is not only a blatant violation of human rights but a ridiculous and dangerous contradiction,” she said.
Ms Mulenga said Human rights are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent where they can not violate one right in the guise of protecting another right!
She said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been around since 10th December 1948 and Zambia seems to have a dangerously ignorant minister publicly declaring that he will beat human rights and its defenders using his own law 71 years later!
“Using one’s law is pure anarchy and delinquent behavior. President Lungu should be ashamed of his appointee Minister Lusambo. This man has a penchant for violence. He beat up Mr Kambwili on the grounds of the law making house itself instead of debating Mr Kambwili on the floor of the house as MPs are supposed to do. Now he is going around shamelessly violating article 15 of our Constitution which protects everyone from being subjected to torture, or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment. This right is in our Bill of Rights. It is not only justiciable but also non derogable therefore this right cannot be suspended even in a state of emergency or a war situation.
“Article 25 of our Constitution lists rights that can be derogated from an article 15 is not one of them! Lusambo’s beating of people is ‘inhuman’ and ‘degrading.’ It is corporal punishment and Judge Chulu in his High Court ruling in the John Banda v the People case of 1999 affirmed that corporal punishment, beating people is a violation of article 15 of our Constitution,” she said.
Ms Mutale said action of Mr Lusambo directly infringes the reputation, standing of national and President Lungu’s image at international level.
She said President Lungu is also in violation of the Constitution by allowing Minister Lusambo to run wild violating our human rights.
“He appointed Minister Lusambo so how Lusambo exercises his authority is a reflection of the President himself. In fact, Mr Lusambo has stated that he reports to the President and not to anybody else.