The European Union Parliament has moved a motion for the peaceful resolution of the on-going political crisis in Zambia.

This is contained in a motion for a resolution by the Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) on Zambia, particularly the case of HH yesterday.

MEPs demanded for the immediate relase of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema noting that his arrest was politically moticvated.

“Is concerned at the continuing incarceration of Hakainde Hichilema and calls for him to be released. Notes with concern reports of political motivation in relation to the charges and therefore urges the Zambian judiciary to demonstrate independence from political interference; Underlines that all detainees should be afforded access to legal redress, healthcare and visiting rights,” read the resolutions.

“Reminds the Zambian government of their obligations to guarantee fundamental rights and the rule of law, including access to justice and the right to a fair trial, as provided for in the African Charter, and other international and regional human rights instruments; recalls that the respect for freedom of association and assembly are fundamental to any democratic society and guaranteed by the Zambian Constitution, and that excessive force in response to peaceful protests should be avoided in all circumstances.”

MEPs also noted the need for reforms in the Public Order Act, ZNBC and ECZ.

“Recalls that following the 2016 general election, the EU election observation mission final report noted that s detailed review of the electoral legal framework and redrafting of unclear, ambiguous and conflicting provisions should be carried out as well as the removal of overly restrictive limitations of freedom of assembly in the Public Order Act and that the transformation of ZNBC into a public service broadcaster with full editorial independence from government, and enhanced oversight of the Electoral Commission of Zambia of the public media,” read the resolutions.

MEPs expressed concern that government’s openness to dialogue was conditioned by the opposition’s acceptance of the 2016 elections.

“Calls on the EU to make use of all available political means, including at the highest level, to encourage and assist Zambia’s commitment to make such reforms and to uphold the highest standards of human rights, the rule of law and democracy; insists on the urgent necessity of a peaceful and constructive dialogue between the Patriotic Front and the UPND in order to restore political stability and trust; welcomes, in this regard, the Human Rights Commission’s call for a dialogue to tackle political violence and prevent continued violations of human rights and freedoms,” read the resolutions.

“Expresses concern that the government’s openness to dialogue and national reconciliation is conditioned by the acceptance by all opposition parties of the outcome of the 2016 elections; urges the Zambian President to engage in talks with its opponents without delay.”
MEPs instructed their president Antonio Tajani to forward their resolutions to the Council, Commission and the Zambian government among other institutions.

“Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Commission Vice-President / EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Co Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the African Union Commission and the Pan-African Parliament, the Zambian Government and the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” read the resolutions.

To read the full motion for a resolution, click here.