PATRIOTIC Front central committee member Raphael Nakacinda has written to the United Nations Committee Against Torture and the Human Rights Commission over the alleged torture of former president Edgar Lungu’s barber, Shebby Chilekwa.
In a letter sated March 7, Nakacinda said Chilekwa was tortured to an extent of bleeding while urinating.
“Information is in the public domain that on between the 6th and the 9th of February, 2022 the Police with other investigative wings raided the residence of one Mr Chisanga Chanda [Aid de camp to the immediate past Republican President of Zambia]. During that operation they captured the said Mr. Chanda who is a deputy Commissioner of Police and all persons who were at his residence including one Shebby Chilekwa. When these individuals were captured, they were taken to some private premises not being a police station for interrogation and denied access to their families and counsel [legal representation],” he stated.
“It was at this place that one Shebby Chilekwa was tortured by members of the Zambia police, other investigative wings and political party cadres. He was badly beaten to the extent of beginning to pass blood when he urinated and could hardly hear when he was first allowed to see his family and lawyers three days later. To clearly show the extent of his beatings I have taken the liberty to attach pictures of the said Shebby Chilekwa showing marks on his back. The herein named victim is currently remanded at Kaoma Remand Prison in Kaoma and it would be important to visit him and obtain a statement from him away from the Police who are agents of the state and who occasioned this atrocity on him.”
He claimed that Chilekwa was tortured by cadres of a known political political party.
“Looking at this definition of torture, the events described in the preface herein fit squarely in the said definition. Suffice to say Shebby Chilekwa was tortured by the Zambia Police , the other officers from the other investigative wings and cadres from a known political party. Further, the convention does place an obligation on all member states of signatories to it to ensure that they prevent and or punish all and any kind of torture committed by any state agents such as the Police and the allied investigative wings,’ Nakacinda stated.
“In this regard articles 2 and 4 of the Convention against torture are instructive and they provide thus: Article 2(I). Each state party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction. (2) No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. (3) An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as justification of torture. Article 4(l). Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. (2) Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate pen allies which take into account their grave nature.”
Nakacinda said government had failed to abide by the convention against torture.
“In terms of taking legislative action as required by article 3 Zambia has accordingly complied as the supreme law of the Land the Constitution chapter I of the laws of Zambia does prohibit acts of torture with no claw backs or exceptions. In this vein it provides in article 15 thus: ‘A person shall not be subjected to torture, or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other like treatment’. However, the government has failed to abide by the convention against torture and our Constitution which binds all organs of Government and all persons within Zambia as it has allowed the Police and other investigative wings to torture citizens in the name of extracting information from them relating their investigations of alleged crimes committed by the previous political regime that exited office in august of 2021,” Nakacinda said.
He said there was need for Chilekwa and his family to be compensated.
“Seeing as Zambia on or about the 7th October, 1998, the Republic of Zambia became a signatory to the convention against torture. By virtue of being a signatory Zambia is amenable to the jurisdiction of your Honorable Committee. Having established that Zambia is amenable to the jurisdiction of this committee I wish to render my complaint against the state of Zambia as follows: (1) The Zambian police and other investigative wings did torture Shebby Chilekwa and or treat him in a degrading or inhuman way when they beat him senselessly to the extent of struggling to hear and passing blood.(2) The Zambian Government under the leadership of the United Party for National Development (UPND) has endorsed the said torture and has failed, neglected or otherwise ignored its obligation under the convention against torture as it has not reacted to the said torture let alone punished the officers or even the cadres involved who belong to the same political party involved in the acts,” said Nakacinda.
“In view of the above, I implore your good office to investigate this matter, take Zambia to task and ensure that Shebby Chilekwa gets the protection he is entitled to both under the convention against torture and the Zambian Constitution. Further, I implore that the honourable Court should compel Zambia to accordingly compensate Shebby Chilekwa and his family for the torture he suffered.”