As previously debated in this column before, the subject of whether or not Zambia must maintain the death penalty as punishment for some offences remains contentious and highly divisive.

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) commends the Vice-President Mr. Guy Scott for the bold step taken to visit Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe recently.

Acting HRC Chairperson Mr. Palan Mulonda said the visit was a sign that the Government was concerned about the horrible conditions in prisons and willing to take corrective measures to find a lasting solution.

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has supported the Government ban of the manufacturing, importation, distribution and consumption of the alcohol sachets popularly known as tujilijili.
A young girl who lost all to property grabbing was able to go back to school when the Human Rights Commission stepped in and followed up her case. In her ninth grade, 14-year-old Florence Kabwe had lost both her parents and was about to experience what many orphaned children in Zambia undergo, a cycle of deprivation. Even with that, Florence was not discouraged and refused to believe that her dream to become educated was entirely lost.

I wish to quote paragraph 7 of the Zambia Episcopal Conference’s Pastoral Letter, which was issued on January 27, 2013, which paragraph relates to Human Rights.

In the first two weeks of 2011, there were regular reports in the media, particularly in the tabloid press, to the effect that certain organizations and groupings in Western Province were promoting secession.

The year just ended was not the easiest, nay the most exciting in terms of human rights. As a commission we started the year in real bad taste and got ourselves into a lot of trouble because of the way we reacted to the trouble in Mongu that started on January 14. Police and the locals clashed over a planned meeting that the former did not want to go ahead because, according to them, the organizers were planning secession for the Western Province.

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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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