THE Human Rights Commission (HRC) says some of the activities which used to happen under the PF administration, like cadreism, are still happening under the UPND government.
And the Commission has encouraged political players lamenting about being targeted to formally lodge a complaint with them.
In an interview, HRC chairperson Mudford Mwandenga noted that cadre mentality was still in existence.
“Some of the activities which used to happen under PF are still happening now. So, is it a beginning or is it just a change of the actors? I think they are trying as much as possible to try and control the people by speech but does it translate to the cadre? No. Cadres have a different way of thinking. For instance, if you look at what happened in Kasama, that is the same kind of behaviour that used to happen in the past. I think it is best that the law should take its course. Those activities that used to be condemned in the past are now being condemned. It is the cadres’ mentality which unfortunately hasn’t weaned, it is still there. Until we deal with this issue of cadreism, these problems will continue,” Mwandenga said.
And Mwandenga said the Commission had not received any complaints relating to individuals being targeted by law enforcement agencies.
“We act on people’s complaints, it is something that needs to be brought to our attention, if it is not brought to our attention, we will lay low. If you are talking about political parties, they have had an opportunity to report their complaints. Even when the UPND was in opposition, they kept coming to us, even PF, they complained to us, so they know the procedure. If they want something from us, let them send their complaints and we will look at it. I have not received any complaints. There are quite a number of issues which take place, some of them we pick them up, some of them we don’t. So, we encourage them to report,” said Mwandenga.
“The (complaints) are best reported to the Human Rights Commission and the Commission will engage the Drug Enforcement Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission or the Financial Intelligence Centre to find out from what perspective they are targeting those people. Because if you just shoot blindly, you might end up concluding that they are being targeted when you actually don’t know what the authorities have. So what I am saying is that a complaint must be put formally so that the Commission should also engage these law enforcement agencies then maybe they can give us an informed position.”