The Human Rights Commission (HRC/Commission) strongly condemns the killing of two suspected Patriotic Front (PF) supporters by suspected United Party for National Development (UPND) supporters in Kanyama Township of Lusaka on 30th July 2021 and calls for the due process of the law to take its full course.

The horrendous act of depriving the victims of their right to life by mutilating their bodies must be punished in accordance with the law in order to end impunity and prevent further criminal acts and grave violations or abuse of human rights.

The brutal killing of the duo is repugnant to the fact that all human beings are endowed with reason and conscience and must act towards each other in a humane manner. As a long-term solution, the country must seriously assess the negative impact of drug abuse on crime and violation of human rights and develop a robust national rehabilitation programme to create a humane society.

It is extremely regrettable that the apparent politically-related murder happened barely three days after the Human Rights Commission called on all political party leaders to order their supporters to lay down their weapons of violence and stop all forms of violence.

The Commission wishes to commend the Zambia Police Service for swiftly arresting the suspected perpetrators and appeals for professionalism and respect for the rights of suspects, particularly in accordance with Articles 15 and 18 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia in order to avoid miscarriage of justice.

The Commission commiserates with the families of the deceased male citizens. It is regrettable that life deprived can never be restored but the Commission prays that the unfettered wheels of justice will contribute to atoning their pain caused by the unbearable loss.

The Commission is also appealing to various interest groups and institutions to allow the police to professionally and independently deal with this high-grade criminal matter without any form of interference or influence to avoid creating an environment that may aggravate the already deteriorating human rights situation.

On the other hand, because of the high burden of proof a capital offence such as murder requires, the Commission is calling on the police to undertake thorough investigations devoid of illegal acts and any other conduct or utterances that may undermine the integrity of evidence in the Courts of Law.

Finally, the Commission reiterates its earlier call to all political party leaders to order their supporters to stop all acts of political and electoral violence and contribute to creating a peaceful environment for democratic and popular participation of the electorate to vote for candidates of their choice on 12th August 202.

Mweelwa Muleya

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The mission of the Human Rights Commission is to promote and protect human rights for all people in Zambia through investigations of human rights violations, rehabilitation of victims of human rights abuses, education of communities and advocacy for policy and legal changes influenced by evidence based research

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