The Civil Society movement says it is alarmed with the manner in which police officers treated Roan member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili at the Magistrates’ Court complex where he fainted after being denied bail despite meeting the conditions.
In a joint statement issued yesterday, the Oasis Forum, Action Aid Caritas Zambia, Alliance for Community Action CiSCA and ZCSD, charged that the Anti Corruption Commission violated the rule of law by failing to obey a court order and grabting the NDC leader bail.
We are alarmed at the unnecessary harsh treatment being accorded to opposition leaders Mr Chishimba Kambwili and Dr Nevers Mumba. In respect of Dr Kambwili, the failure by the Anti Corruption Commission to obey a lawful court order to grant him bail is a clear violation of the rule of law in Zambia. We are concerned at the delay on providing him with medical attention in view of his physical condition. We are equally concerned with the timing of the conviction and incarceration of Dr Mumba for a minor offence,” stated the movement.
They said the harsh treatment of the two leaders soon after the incarceration of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema suggested that the State was making efforts to clump down on the opposition in the country.
“We urge government to consider, not only the damage these actions have on democracy and rule of law in Zambia, but also the image of the country as a beacon of democracy on the continent,” stated the CSOs.
And in a separate statement yesterday, Human Rights Commission Chairperson Mudford Mwandenga said it was cruel and inhuman for the police to have rushed Kambwili to Lusaka Correctional Facility instead of the hospital for medical attention.
“The Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned at the continued infringement of Roan Member of Parliament Hon. Chishimba Kambwili’s right to bail despite the Court granting it to him. The Commission has been informed that the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Department of Immigration, is in possession of Honourable Kambwili’s passport, which is supposed to be surrendered to the Court in order for him to meet the bail conditions. As a result of the failure by the Immigration Department to hand over the passport to Court, Honourable Kambwili is unable to be released on bail,” Mwandenga stated.
“The Human Rights Commission is calling upon the respective state institutions to effectively co-ordinate and ensure that Honourable Kambwili’s rights and freedoms are not compromised as a result of the consequences of the unfortunate actions of the State at the expense of his health. It is in the best interest of everyone, particularly the government, that Hon. Kambwili is granted an environment conducive for him to recover as a matter of right. It is in the public domain that Hon. Kambwili has been of ill health, and that he has no record of being a fugitive for him to be treated in the manner in which he is being treated.”
Mwandenga also stated that the Commission asked the State to stop treating Kambwili like a convicted criminal.
“The Commission also condemns the decision to rush Hon. Kambwili to Lusaka Correctional Facility instead of rushing him to the hospital for medical attention after he had collapsed at the Lusaka Magistrate Courts on Wednesday. We consider that action to be an act of cruel and inhuman treatment, which is deeply regrettably. The Commission is calling upon the State to accord Honourable Kambwili his right to equal protection of the law like any other suspect, by removing all impediments to him enjoying his right to bail which has duly been granted to him by a competent court of law,” stated Mwandenga.