Call to the Zambian authorities to stop harassing citizens

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Office is worried about the continued harassment of anti-corruption and human rights activists by the government of Zambia.

This follows the summoning, by the Supreme Court of Zambia of five civil society activists to appear before the court on the 17th of July on flimsy charges on contempt of court. See here: https://diggers.news/local/2018/07/11/supreme-court-slaps-chifire-mambo-with-contempt-charges-in-savenda-case/

https://www.zambianobserver.com/supreme-court-summons-bishop/

The activists, Bishop John Mambo and Southern Africa Network against Corruption executive director Gregory Chifire among others had questioned a Judge’s conduct in a case where he is alleged to have received bribes.

See here: https://www.zambiawatchdog.com/stanbic-bribes-supreme-court-judges-in-savendas-k192-m-case/

https://www.lusakatimes.com/2018/06/12/civil-societies-issue-joint-statement-on-allegations-against-judges-in-savenda-vs-stanbic-bank-case/

We view this move as an attempt to intimidate citizens who are exposing corruption.

This is totally unacceptable and deeply worrying for the Zambian authorities starting to replicate dictatorial tendencies.

We implore the judiciary and law enforcement agents in Zambia to stop harassing citizens who are demanding accountability from public officials.

Zambia is a signatory to the SADC Protocol against Corruption of 2001 and various other regional and international statutes and therefore we expect the country to adhere to these statutes in the fight against corruption. We are challenging the Zambian judiciary to invest in upholding the rule of law and respecting the rights of citizens who are exercising their democratic rights.

Their role should not be against those who are speaking truth to power and fighting against corruption.

In this regard, we support the citizens and progressive forces of Zambia to continue playing a critical role in curbing and exposing corruption.

//ENDS

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